Disgusted and appalled, the sister of a care home resident in Saskatoon says she can’t believe the state her brother was left in when she went to visit him at a care home earlier this month.

“I got there on Tuesday (Sept. 3) and he was sobbing in his bedroom in the dark, no sheets on his bed, no pillow case on his pillow, his pillow over his eyes and just sobbing,” said Teresa Lang about the conditions she found her brother in.

“I asked him what’s wrong and all he said was ‘die, die, die.’”

On Aug. 28, Lang said she was in Saskatoon visiting her brother Dion Tarasoff at Cayden’s Premium Home Care Inc., in the city’s Meadowgreen neighbouhood. Lang said he was complaining about his eye bothering him and a bad headache. When they brought Tarasoff to Royal University, doctors said he was hypoglycemic.

Lang brought him back to the care home and planned to come back to see him the following week. When she returned, she found Tarasoff in a state of disarray, she said.

“The care home says they were thinking about calling the ambulance and I told them to call the ambulance,” Lang said, but the ambulance didn’t come right away.

“I waited over an hour for the ambulance and Dion was kicking in pain. We waited another 30 minutes, I asked for a wheelchair so I can get him to my car and I could take him to the hospital.”

When the family arrived at St. Paul’s Hospital, Tarasoff was assessed and doctors told the family he had suffered a stroke.

Lang is still upset over the state of the room her brother was living in.

No one from the care home would comment on camera. In a statement, the care home said: “Due to confidentiality and protection of the individuals’ information, we cannot comment on the said allegations. However, we assure you that our current residents, families and support workers believe is us and are happy with the care that we provide to their family.”

The owner said Tarasoff was being uncooperative and wouldn’t allow staff in his room so they could clean.

Lang said she doesn't accept that explanation.

“That’s their job, is to evaluate them if they need help or not … they should have known better,” Lang said.

The Ministry of Health pointed to the Personal Home Care Act and the Home Care Handbook when asked to discuss this matter.

In the Home Care Handbook provided to operators from the province, care home staff are encouraged to be gentle and patient when dealing with difficult behaviours, but if they persist a resident’s needs should be discussed with a doctor or behavioural management consultant.

It also says it’s the responsibility of the care home to provide the basic level of care to its residents in accordance with the Personal Home Care Act.