Alberta briefs – September 2

A fatality inquiry into how an elderly man froze to death outside his condo complex has concluded that health authorities, doctors, seniors’ care agencies and families need to co-operate more.

Inquiry held into death of man from dementia

LETHBRIDGE, — A fatality inquiry into how an elderly man froze to death outside his condo complex has concluded that health authorities, doctors, seniors’ care agencies and families need to co-operate more.

Judge Ron Jacobson says Sydney James Salter, 88, who suffered from dementia, ought to have been living in a more secure facility than the independent living complex he inhabited at the time of his death.

On Dec. 31, 2007, Salter was found lying barefoot outside his Lethbridge condo complex in sub-zero temperatures.

It’s believed he had wandered outside in light clothing sometime the previous night.

Salter’s son says the judge’s recommendations confirm his own assertion that better co-ordination of procedures and communication are needed.

Michael Salter, who lives in Arizona, says the family knew his father needed to be moved at some point, “but nobody was saying it was urgent.”

Sydney Salter moved into the condo on his own in October 2007 and had been receiving part-time home support through We Care Home Health Services.

He had reportedly been found wandering on at least two occasions prior to his death.

In the week before he died, however, his confusion increased and he exhibited greater signs of dementia, yet that information wasn’t relayed to other health-care providers.

Jacobson has also recommended that the provincial health ministry spearhead an independent study this fall involving federal, provincial and local health authorities, health professionals, health care providers, operators of health care facilities and concerned associations or individuals.

He has called for findings from the study to be published by Jan. 31, 2010.


Man accused in fatal collision reserves plea

BONNYVILLE, — A man accused in a fatal collision that killed four family members from an Alberta First Nation has reserved his plea.

Clayton Tyler Procinski is charged with manslaughter in the deaths of two sisters, their mother and her common-law husband on July 23.

The family from the Kehewin Cree Nation was on the way to a hospital in Bonnyville because one of the girls was sick.

The 30-year-old accused appeared in Bonnyville provincial court via closed-circuit TV from the Edmonton Remand Centre.

He remained motionless as 12 charges were read out against him, including manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.

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