Vernon and North Okanagan
Family of care home victim speaks
Aug 26, 2013 / 11:45 am
He was their hero.
That was the message from a Vernon family who spoke out this morning (Monday) on the tragic death of their father, William "Bill" May.
Bill May was the son of a World War I veteran, brother to three siblings, father to three sons, and husband to one wife for 57 years.
He opened the Consumers' Glass plant in Lavington in 1969 and retired as the company's Vice President in 1989.
"Much has been said about Mr. Furman being a war hero, a hero to many, and for that we honour him.
However, you need to know that dad was also a hero, a hero to many, to his staff, to his wife and his children," says Paul May.
Paul May, along with brother, Scott, and sister-in-law, Lenora, spoke to media in Vernon on Monday morning in the wake of last week's tragedy at Polson Residential Care facility.
Genuine and tearful, their message was not one of animosity or anger, but of love for their father and understanding that specialized care homes present very complex dynamics that are difficult for health care professionals to manage.
"We do not want there to be any perception that we are ungrateful for the care given to dad at Polson," said May.
"Our experience was that the staff are a committed and caring group of people....[but] we also know of the the risks present in such a setting. People do not arrive in these places unless they have displayed uncooperative and aggressive behaviour," he said.
The May family says they have no hard feelings towards Mr. Furman or towards the staff at Polson, and instead express their sympathies to all involved.
They do, however, hope that there is a way to prevent similar situations in the future.
"I hope there is something that can be done to prevent this from happening again. It's a tough population to deal with because of the dementia and potential for aggression," said Scott May.
The May family is concerned that the recommendations in Kim Carter's Ombudsperson's report have not been followed, and think that more could be done to improve care for seniors in the province.
"Their own people, their own impartial body is saying there are some steps you could take, and they haven't been. So that's a concern," Scott said.
"We just don't want anybody else to go through this, because this is really lousy."
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