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Sask. family demands improved care standards after death of elderly mother

REGINA – A Saskatchewan family is calling for minimum care requirements in senior care homes after they say their 74-year-old mother became malnourished, developed large bedsores, and was otherwise neglected while staying in a Regina care home.

The family of Margaret Warholm visited the legislature on Wednesday to share their story.

Warholm lived at the Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home and suffered from a condition that made it difficult for her to move and to feed herself.

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Her family originally became concerned when they noticed that Margaret was losing weight and becoming malnourished. They met with care home staff to address these concerns, but say they were repeatedly ignored.

In question period Wednesday, NDP Leader Cam Broten said Warholm had multiple fractures caused by a bad fall and was malnourished and suffering from large bedsores when she was taken to hospital in October 2013.

Medical records released by Warholm’s children say that she was “emaciated.” She died three days after she was admitted to the hospital.

Broten says the care facility was struggling with a lack of staff and there is a need for regulated minimum care standards to prevent similar cases in the future.

Health minister Dustin Duncan expressed his sympathy to the family, calling the situation “difficult” and recommending that the family reach out to the provincial ombudsman.

“I think this is one (case) that would certainly warrant further investigation,” Duncan said.

With files from the Canadian Press.