Healthcare firm denies letting old man die alone

Healthcare provider Carema, recently ditched by the City of Stockholm after a series of revelations of suspected neglect, has denied reports that staff left a dementia patient to die alone.

Healthcare firm denies letting old man die alone

The allegations are that the man, housed at Carema’s elderly care home in Korsnäsgården in Falun, in central Sweden, was left to die in front of a television.

“The person in question was not alone at the time of their death,” said Jonas Hampus at Falun municipality to the TT news agency.

Hampus also explained that the man died in his apartment, and that he passed away during the night when no television was on. The information has been confirmed by staff records of the night in question.

Korsnäsgården at first responded to the revelations by accusing an intern of breaching a confidentiality agreement.

Over the past couple of weeks, several Carema-run homes have been revealed to have significant flaws, from unchanged diapers to poor working environment. The scandal has led to raised voices for tightened quality control of elderly homes.

According to reports published by the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily last week two Carema geriatric homes, Norshöjden and Korsnäsgården in Falun, in central Sweden, have been accused of severe flaws.

The Local reported last week on revelations in DN of staff being told to weigh diapers in order to save money.

One of Carema’s nursing homes, Koppargården in Järfälla, near Stockholm, responded to the initial reports by terminating subscriptions with the publication.

Further revelations detailed how a “secret” bonus scheme for managers was revealed just days after staff told how savings initiatives have led to neglect of the elderly in their care.

The Local reported on Monday that the scandal has now had financial implications for Carema, a firm which is owned by venture capital firm Triton, after the City of Stockholm announced that it was cancelling its contracts with the firm’s subsidiary Carema Care.

In addition to breaking its agreement with Carema, Stockholm city officials plan to launch a broad review of the city’s geriatric care.

“We need to be able to guarantee our citizens safe and secure elderly care,” Nordin said.

Sweden’s finance minister Anders Borg furthermore announced plans on Monday to close loopholes in the Swedish tax code following criticism that healthcare companies are using complicated schemes to avoid paying taxes in Sweden.

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Moderate Party politician wants care-home ‘spies’

A local Moderate Party politician has called for the installation of undercover spies to patrol retirement homes to ensure that staff do their jobs, in the wake of a slew of recent scandals.

Moderate Party politician wants care-home 'spies'

“It is a question of vulnerable people who can’t speak for themselves. The reports of mistreatment that come to light are often difficult to prove,” Kalmar municipal councillor Magnus Isaksson told the the local Östran daily.

Isaksson suggested that the spies should be installed at facilities under the guise of employment as temporary staff. He argued that staff should be tasked with infiltrating operations and monitoring how the regular personnel do their jobs.

The Moderate Party politician has laid out his plan in a motion to the Kalmar municipal council, suggesting that a couple of weeks would be the right time-frame in order to compile an adequate clandestine report.

The call comes a few weeks after revelations of mistreatment at the Smedängen care home in Kalmar, although Isaksson underlined that his proposal is not specifically directed at the home.

“This occurs in other areas of society,” he said.

Isaksson compared his proposal to the “mystery shopper” programmes operated by retail chains where undercover customers seek to compile reports on how staff work and greet customers.

He accepted that his proposal could be considered controversial.

“But it would have an effect. Just the thought that there could be someone keeping a check would get people to pull themselves together,” he told the newspaper.

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