Seniors left 'vulnerable to sexual predation' in B.C. care home, nurses' college says

Speaking to CTV News anonymously, to protect her mother's identity, her daughter said the woman asked family members if they would "throw her down the stairs, dump her in the river."

“She was ripping her hair out and she was also asking us if she could go live anywhere else," she said.

Still, the daughter thought her mom was safe in her Cranbrook care home.

She wasn’t.

“The RCMP phoned my house at 1 in the morning and told me my mom had been sexually assaulted,” said the victim’s daughter.

She says she was in disbelief that another resident of Joseph Creek Care Village would do this. The incident happened in early 2020.

“Totally horrified. And you don’t want to believe it. You put your parent there to be safe and protected and cared for and it’s not happening,” the woman said.

Family members would also soon learn it wasn’t the first time it had occurred, however. They say they had not been notified of two earlier incidents involving their mom.

Joyce Turner is a former licensed practical nurse and the former regional manager for Golden Life Management, which operates Joseph Creek Care Village.

Earlier this month, the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives entered an agreement with Turner to cancel her nursing registration. She can’t reapply for her licence for at least three years.

A notice posted online says an inquiry looked into her management of issues relating to a “male resident with a known history of sexual misconduct, who himself was (a) vulnerable resident with unmet care needs.”

The college found documentation from front-line staff of “numerous incidents of sexual misconduct perpetrated against cognitively impaired and/or otherwise vulnerable women”.

The college was critical of Turner’s handling of the incidents, "which in BCCNM's view left female residents in her care vulnerable to sexual predation."

Golden Life says Turner ended her employment with their company in May 2020.

In a statement, Julius van Wyk, CEO of Golden Life Management Corp., said that the "consent agreement and investigation were solely between the Nursing College (BCCNM) and Ms. Turner…The investigation was not regarding Golden Life or our practices. In fact, (neither) Golden Life executives nor Ms. Turner’s direct supervisor were interviewed."

The statement goes on to say that “Golden Life Management follows all reporting requirements as per the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Residential Care Regulations. In the event of a reportable incident they are investigated in collaboration with Interior Health and/or Licensing and if required interventions and corrective actions are implemented.”

Another resident of the care facility, Dianna Green, says she had her own worries about the man accused of the assaults.

“He would walk around the facility with no clothes on at night. He would flash. He was coming into my room,” she said, adding that he was unwilling to leave when asked.

She says what happened “created a lot of fear, uneasiness, stress.”

The care home resident involved in the incident was charged with sexual assault. Crown counsel says he agreed to be bound by a peace bond and the charge was stayed.

But the victim’s family says they are frustrated he still lives at the facility, though in a different area and with tighter security.

“I definitely feel they failed to look after to my mom," the daughter said. "But I also worry about how many other people they failed to look after.”

As for the victim, her family says she is doing much better now. And they hope her dementia has allowed her to forget what happened.