Sudden shutdown of N.S. nursing home raises questions about seniors' safety

The shutdown of a private nursing home is raising questions about the safety of Nova Scotia seniors.

Fire officials and police responded to Marilyns Country Haven for Seniors in Stewiacke, N.S. Wednesday morning and removed patients because the facility doesnt meet provincial standards.

Two patients were taken to hospital and four other residents were moved out of the home.

Bill VanGorder, of the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, says he hopes the provincial government will step in to help the families affected by the shutdown.

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Its a hugely difficult situation where they have to find new accommodations for up to six residents, says VanGorder.

The owner of the nursing home says she was blindsided by the shutdown. She says her building was designed with dementia patients in mind and that she was given no time to take any corrective measures.

But Nova Scotia Labour Minister Kelly Regan says the fire marshals office did the right thing.

There was no exit plan. There was no training for staff to evacuate the residents, says Regan.

The government says there had been no oversight of the home because it had no licences or permits.

The municipality would normally have gone in and done an inspection if theyd known that more than one person was living there under those conditions, says Regan.

Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine says he knows of two unlicensed seniors homes, but isnt concerned because he believes the families of the patients are monitoring the situation.

It wouldnt be a certified assurance, it wouldnt be an inspected assurance, but I would take their word that theyre comfortable in those cases, says Glavine.

The owner of Marilyns Country Haven for Seniors says she isnt sure when, or if, the facility will reopen.

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