Halifax police investigate death of woman, 91, after altercation at care home
Halifax Regional Police are investigating the death of an elderly woman following an altercation at an assisted living facility in Clayton Park.
Officers responded to Evan Hall – a memory care facility located on the third floor of the Parkstone Enhanced Care nursing home – at 156 Parkland Drive before 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police say their preliminary investigation revealed that a 74-year-old woman allegedly got into an altercation with a 91-year-old woman.
The older woman fell to the ground and sustained serious injuries.
Both women lived in an area reserved for people with dementia.
“It happened quickly from what I understand,” says Heather Hanson, a spokesperson for Shannex, the company that operates the nursing home. “Staff were certainly nearby but it was just a very quick and unfortunate incident.”
The woman was taken to hospital where she was listed in critical condition. She died in hospital Sunday evening.
Police say they are investigating the incident as a suspicious death.
“Because this death occurred following an altercation between two residents of this house, the investigation is now referred to the Integrated Major Crime Unit,” says Const. Pierre Bourdages of the Halifax Regional Police.
Police are still waiting to see the autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death.
A similar incident happened in the dementia unit of another Shannex facility in January 2011; a 92-year-old woman died at the Arborstone Enhanced Care nursing home in Halifax after being pushed by another female resident.
No charges were laid.
According to a recent investigation by CTV’s W5, an average of five homicides happen each year in Canadian care homes.
The latest case hasn’t been ruled a homicide but Shannex staff say it has hit people at the facility hard.
“It’s a small neighbourhood, very close relationships between clients and clients’ families and staff,” says Hanson.
Shannex is cooperating with police as they investigate the incident and the company is also conducting its own investigation into the matter.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell