CW: Assisted Suicide & Neglect:
After learning of “deplorable” living conditions at a long-term care facility, an NDP MPP has asked the provincial government to intervene at a Niagara Falls retirement home.
Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates made the announcement after receiving a series of “disturbing” images of a room at Greycliff Manor on Lundy’s Lane, where Chris Gladders opted to end his life last year.
The photographs depict the state of the room when Gladders’ family arrived to say goodbye and be with him in his final moments. there is urine and feces on the floor, as well as dark flecks on the walls and in the sink. In one of the pictures, Gladders’ daughter is laying next to him in his filthy bed.
Chris Gladders, 35, grew up on Hamilton’s east side and was diagnosed with Fabry’s disease. Shawn Gladders said that the disease ultimately “took over” his brother and grew worse while he was a resident at Greycliff.
Fabry disease is an inherited illness caused by an accumulation of a form of fat known as globotriaosylceramide in the body’s cells. This buildup, which starts in childhood, results in indications and symptoms that affect various body systems. Fabry disease is characterized by periods of pain, particularly in the hands and feet (acroparesthesias); clusters of small, dark red spots on the skin called angiokeratomas; a decreased ability to sweat (hypohidrosis); cloudiness or streaks in the front area of the eye (corneal opacity or corneal verticillata); issues with the gastrointestinal system; ringing in the ears and hearing loss.
Additionally, Fabry disease can result in potentially fatal consequences include progressive renal failure, heart failure, and stroke. Mild types of the illness develop in some affected people.These usually affect the heart, kidneys, or blood vessels in the brain.
According to Shawn, Chris was insistent about having a medically assisted death, and he believes the environment at Greycliff Manor influenced his decision. The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) has terminated the operation license at Greycliff, as well as five other homes owned by the Martinos, effective as of June 2021.
It is heartbreaking that Mr. Gladders didn’t receive the type of care he deserved. He shouldn’t have had to die in a urine-stained bed. Every disabled person should receive the highest quality care. People depend on their caregivers to survive.
Germain, Dominique P. “Fabry disease.” Orphanet journal of rare diseases vol. 5 30. 22 Nov. 2010, doi:10.1186/1750-1172-5-30
Polewski, Lisa. “Hamilton Man Dies amid ‘Disturbing’ Living Conditions at Niagara Falls Home, Says Family .” Global News, Corus Entertainment, 29 Jan. 2021, https://globalnews.ca/news/7608179/hamilton-man-dies-disturbing-living-conditions-niagara-falls-home/.