Family’s Story of Struggle with Seniors Care Hospital Shocking

Media Release
November 7, 2012

Families should be empowered to address care problems through family councils

An Edmonton family spoke out today about the on-going systemic issues they are having with Villa Caritas Hospital, an Edmonton seniors care facility run by Covenant Health.

“I have sadly come to the point where I feel I have no other recourse but to speak out publicly about my experience, to try to advocate for my husband Jack Rudichuk, who has been in Villa Caritas acute care hospital since March 2011,” said Huguette Hebert, his wife of 36 years. “I have been systematically disempowered in my dealings with Villa Caritas Hospital, and now I desperately want him to be transferred out to the U of A hospital so that he can get the neurological assessment and care he urgently needs.”

The family has been struggling with an institution that has disempowered them by:

  •  Threatening to remove the wife’s guardianship when she refused to pay $5000 for a larger sized wheelchair for her husband who is six foot four.
  • Calling security to have the wife removed from the building when she wanted to be present while her husband was being changed as she was very concerned about cuts and bruising on his body.
  • Refusing to assess or explain why he had serious bruises on his body, saying that taking X-rays would be a waste of money.
  • Finally, despite appealing to the Minister of Health and other government bodies, the facility still refuses to transfer him to the U of A hospital for a neurological assessment & treatment, even though it is clear that he has been having neurological incidents, potentially mini-strokes and seizures.

“These powerful personal stories demonstrate how the system is failing far too many families, and reflect why it is so important that families are empowered to advocate for the needs of their loved ones in all seniors care facilities”, says, Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “It is time that the Health Minister takes action to set up family care councils where these serious issues can be addressed in every publicly funded care facility.”


Media Contacts:

Bill Moore-Kilgannon (780) 993-3736
Huguette Hebert (780) 709-9169

If you would like photos, please contact Kathryn Lennon

Video of the Family's Story -Short


Video of the Family's Story - 12 minutes

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Comments (5)

Institutional elder abuse is becoming rampant right across Canada. This is only one of many, many horrific cases. Visit to learn about many more stories, and to learn about the abusive treatment of elderly residents and their families by health care providers and other public authorities including the police and the legal system.

I would be speaking to a lawyer or at the very least the ombudsman. What you describe sounds like abuse. As his wife and guardian you have a legal right to demand proper care for your husband.And have a second opinion of his medical problems.Also a lawyer may help you have him transferred. I wish you all the luck.

Kindness instead of force is the only answer, and I personally know this with the kind, softhearted, good man. As a professional HCA my heart bleeds for this person. It makes me very sad how inhumane people can be to the vulnerable ones.

Yes, we are standing up and speaking up for my father. We are also aware that there are other families (at Villa Caritas and other hospitals/long-term care facilities) who only want the quality health care their loved-one deserves. Thank you for your support Justin.

I am profoundly disgusted by the lack of respect we give to senior citizens in our "civilized" world. I know this honourable family, as my grandfather is unfortunately in this same institution. I do feel for the family, and hope with all my heart that "Villa Caritas" will see the light and do the right thing...

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