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CBC News : Hospital patient found outside more than 24 hours after disappearance

CBC News Ottawa

A 64-year-old patient spent more than a day lying on the ground outside an Ottawa hospital after she walked out of the mental health unit she’s been staying at and fell, according to her daughter.

Christina Hajjar said her mother left the Montfort Hospital last week “wearing nothing but a dress and slippers.” Roughly 27 hours passed before the woman was found by police, her daughter said.

Hajjar asked her mother what she did during those long hours, waiting to be discovered.

“She said ‘I prayed and I screamed and I prayed and I screamed and when I couldn’t scream anymore, I just figured I would die there.”

Found near hospital

Hajjar first heard her mom had left the hospital when staff called her around 2 p.m. on June 10 to report she had gone outside and not returned.

The hospital told her they were searching for her mother, but only later did Hajjar learn she had disappeared about five hours earlier.

Hajjar couldn’t help the search because she lives in Brampton, Ont., and had tested positive for COVID-19, she said.

Once the sun set on Friday, though, Hajjar decided to call Ottawa police. Then when she woke up on the Saturday to no news, she reported her mother missing.

Ottawa police confirmed they received a call just after 9:30 a.m. Saturday about a 64-year-old woman missing from a hospital on Montreal Road.

The woman was found “near the hospital” by police at 12:12 p.m. and underwent a health check from paramedics, according to police.

Hospital ‘very concerned’ about disappearance

A Montfort spokesperson said the hospital is “very concerned” and apologized to the patient and her family. CBC is not naming the woman to protect her privacy.

The hospital is also conducting an internal investigation, according to an emailed statement.

“It is essential for us to understand what happened and to review everything that can be done to prevent this kind of situation from happening again,” the statement read.

The hospital’s missing patient policy states staff first search the person’s unit and other departments, including locked areas, then the hospital grounds, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson would not say whether the hospital contacted police in this case, where exactly the woman was found and why she wasn’t spotted when staff searched the grounds, saying that information is part of the internal investigation.

Mother’s mental state ‘fragile’ after ordeal

Paige Lennox, the CEO of Canadian Health Advocates Inc. who has been a registered nurse for 28 years, said she would have contacted police if someone disappeared while receiving care in her unit.

“That surprises me a little bit that the hospital didn’t take more of an active role in looking for her,” said Lennox, whose company helps people navigate the health-care system.

She described the situation as “concerning” because it’s especially important for staff to keep track of vulnerable patients, such as those on a mental health ward.

Hajjar said her mother admitted herself to hospital on May 21 but was never discharged. Hajjar has since spoken to Montfort officials and said she believes the hospital is taking the issue seriously.

Still, the incident has had a large impact on her mother.

“It’s made her mental state a lot more fragile,” she said. “She’s just worse. Period.

Find the original article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/montfort-hospital-mental-health-patient-internal-investigation-1.6488082

Thank you to CBC for giving us the opportunity to weigh in on this unfortunate situation to help futher outline the importance of mental health, patient care and advocacy.

Best Health Magazine : Caring for my dying Mom showed me that caregivers need extra support, too. 

Health Magazine Feature

Through my last years of nursing in the hospital I started to see gaps in care for people—maybe because we didn’t have enough resources, definitely because doctors and nurses were overstretched. People were not understanding their diagnosis, treatment or why they were on certain medications. They were not having proper resources at home before being discharged from the hospital. I saw patients and families falling through cracks, but I didn’t realize just how challenging things were until my mom got sick and I went from health care worker to caregiver.
Thank you Best Health Magazine and Rebecca Philps for interviewing us and covering such an important topics. Read the full article here:

Chatelaine Magazine : How to Become Your Own Best Advocate In The Health Care System

Chatelaine Magazine Feature

The pandemic has pushed our long-stressed system to the brink, making self-advocacy more important than ever. Across the country, procedures are being postponed or cancelled outright, while health care workers are leaving the field in droves. In the first quarter of 2021, there were nearly 100,000 job vacancies in the health care and social assistance sector, a 39 percent jump from 2020—and the largest increase in any sector—according to Statistics Canada.
Self-advocating involves speaking up about your feelings, asking for what you need and making sure your rights are respected, all of which can help health care providers treat you more efficiently and effectively.
Thank you Chatelaine and Raina Delisle for interviewing us and tackling this subject and providing such useful tips to readers. Read the full article here:

The Globe and Mail : How seniors can ensure they’re getting the health care they deserve

The Globe and Mail

CHAI’s founder + CEO, Paige Lennox, weighs in on this important topic discussing How seniors can ensure they’re getting the health care they deserve.

Some find it difficult to articulate their health concerns to their family doctors or are afraid to question authority, says Paige Lennox, chief executive officer of Nelson, B.C.-based Canadian Health Advocates Inc. “This generation still puts physicians on a pedestal,” says Ms. Lennox, who started her medical concierge service in 2018 after working as a critical care nurse for 25 years.

Thank you Anna Sharratt for giving Canadian Seniors some great advice.

Read the full article here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article-how-seniors-can-ensure-theyre-getting-the-health-care-they-deserve/

Paige Lennox interviewed on The Clubhouse: A Peak and Prairie Co. Health Promotion Podcast

CHAI’s founder + CEO, Paige Lennox, explains her motivation for starting CHAI, shares how Health Advocacy can improve workplace productivity, and explores her personal passions on Peak+Prairie Co.’s Health Promotion debut podcast.

Together, Megan and Paige discuss the incredible opportunity Health Advocacy has in increasing communication in Canada’s complex healthcare system.

If you or a loved one is curious about Health Advocacy in Canada, listen in on the conversation here: https://anchor.fm/peakandprairieco

CHAI Proudly Participated in the 5th Annual Kootenay Seniors’ Fair

We proudly participated in this local event on October 4, 2019 offering various services to seniors at the Prestige Lakeside Hotel. Along with 30 other vendors, we shared information about our services concerning health advocacy for seniors.

This event was sponsored by Nelson Cares Society, Nelson Community, Response Network/BCCRN, Prestige Lakeside Resort, Royal Canadian Legion Nelson, and Columbia Basin Trust.

How one local nurse-turned-entrepreneur is changing patient’s lives

By Karen Kornelson

Kootenay Association for Science and Technology

When you or someone you love gets sick, it can feel like your world just got flipped upside down. Finding or accepting a diagnosis can be draining and emotionally difficult, and it can be extremely overwhelming navigating the healthcare system. Many patients and their families fall through the cracks, experience a frustrating lack of communication from their medical professionals or do not get proper access to valuable resources.

Read the full article here

CHAI Proudly Sponsors ‘A Taste of Neslon’ 2019

We were proud to sponsor this year’s A Taste of Nelson as they raised awareness about MS and funds needed to support their mission of being a leader in finding a cure for MS and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 16, they were able to raise over $12,500, the most successful year yet! These funds will support innovative research into the cause, treatment and cure of MS, as well as to provide valuable programs and services such as the Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program, Equipment Provision Program, MS Knowledge Network, and 1:1 Peer Support Programs for people affected by MS in the West Kootenays.

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