Elderly woman who pushed 79yearold man wont be charged in his deathRCMP

first_imgHALIFAX – The Mounties have decided against laying charges in the Nova Scotia nursing home death of a 79-year-old man who was pushed by a female resident, fell down and smashed his head on the floor.Gordon Birchell died on Oct. 29 last year, several days after the fatal push at the Ivy Meadows home in the Halifax suburb of Beaver Bank.RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke says in a news release that police ruled it a homicide, but decided against laying charges based on the woman’s “cognitive impairment.”The Halifax man was initially hospitalized at the Cobequid Community Health Centre, but he was returned to the home, where he died as a result of his injuries.Clarke said she could not confirm the woman’s medical condition, but Joan Birchell, the wife of the deceased man, said in an interview she was told by staff the female resident suffered from severe dementia.Birchell said her husband, who suffered from the early stages of dementia, had been pushed by the same woman on repeat occasions, including one occasion when she was present and was also pushed down.She said Tuesday she’s still waiting to hear back from a Health Department investigation into what happened leading up to the fatal push and whether policies and procedures were followed properly.“The investigation should be about the people who were supposed to be watching the woman whenever Gordon was around,” she said in an interview.Birchell said she does not feel the matter should be dropped until more is known about the circumstances that led to the death.“Is it going to be like so many other seniors’ homes where people are dying and nobody is doing anything about it?”Last May, The Canadian Press reported that eight residents of nursing homes in Nova Scotia had died since 2008 due to aggression from other residents, raising questions about why the majority of the deaths were never publicly disclosed.The list of death reports were provided through freedom of information requests made to the chief medical examiner, and included deaths at six homes around the province, with some having multiple incidents.Bonnie Cuming, a friend of Gordon Birchell, has said he was a native of Newfoundland and Labrador and was a former maintenance worker at the school where her husband had worked.“He was a nice man, a sweet, sweet man. … We’re just sick that he died in that way,” she said in a telephone interview.last_img

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