Category Archives: Letters

Suggested Letter of Complaint

To whom it may concern,

I would like to raise the case of Ida Johansson who is suffering physical, mental and emotional elder abuse at the nursing home in Levinsgården, Gaddede, Sweden.

I am an objective observer and I must speak out because what is happening to this woman is illegal and violates her (and the other resident’s) human rights.

Ida Johansson, 92 years old, suffered a stroke in June 2012. Her husband and daughter denied her post-stroke rehabilitation. She was transferred to the Levinsgården nursing home in Gäddede, the village she lived in where she is now abused as follows:

• Ida is refused stroke rehabilitation treatment.

• Patients are forced to spend most of their time in bed. Bed rest is contra to recommended stroke rehabilitation. They have no physical or mental stimulation; the dark rooms they stay in bring on depression and feelings of loneliness.

• Doors are often locked and there have been instances where residents have been physically restrained.

• Patients are left to urinate and defecate on themselves in bed. They are often unassisted despite calling for help and left to lie in it for hours at a time.

• Ida is forced to stay in bed all day and night, which is causing her physical pain.

• Ida and the other residents are strongly medicated, to the point of senselessness. The medication is often not recorded because doses exceed what any medical journal deems as appropriate.

• Since September 2014, Ida has been given 7.5mg of Imovane daily. Imovane (a sleeping tablet) can be highly addictive. It is also potentially lethal for a stroke victim who suffers from sleep apnea. Ida’s communication has become increasingly incomprehensible as the dosage of Imovane she is being given has increased.

• Ida Johansson’s general health is not being maintained. For example, She has untreated skin and toenail infections.

• Ida’s oral health is not being maintained. She has lost teeth, has dental pain and now finds eating difficult. The risk of developing an infection which could be life threatening for a 92 year old is one which must be taken seriously.

• Ida’s pain is such that she cries and screams.

• Staff do not converse normally or socially with Ida or any of the residents. They ignore Ida and the other patients. They talk over top of them, as one might talk about an animal or an object. Staff show no respect to their residents.

• Ida is treated as though she has no mental capacity; her expressions of like or dislike, assent or objection, fear or happiness are disregarded.

What is taking place at Levinsgården breaks both Swedish and EU law, and violates the basic human rights of its residents.

Ida is being supported by her son, Calle, who has been trying to advocate on her behalf since her stroke. However, the village has ostracized him for challenging the practices at the nursing home.

Calle has been working for two years to alert the authorities to his concerns about the way in which Levinsgården is treating residents. He has not yet had a satisfactory response to his concerns.

Nobody should require protection from those who claim to provide care, be they health care professionals, ‘good man’ or family.

On behalf of Ida Johansson and the other suffering residents of Levinsgården, please take action and see that this abuse is put to an end.

Yours sincerely,

Invitation for Rehab from Reacting AB Rehabilitation Clinic

The following is translated from Swedish. The original invitation is attached here: Bäste Calle Johansson. In this letter, Kjell-Erik Söder, CEO of the Reacting AB rehabilitation clinic in Östersund clearly invites Ida Johansson to come to the clinic. Only Ida’s daughter and husband (see: Who Is Involved) are preventing her from going there to receive the care she deserves.

English Translation:

Dear Calle Johansson !

Hereby submit the response to your request for Reacting AB’s ability to limited time to meet your mother Ida, who is currently the last few years are at an aging accommodation in Gaddede , where she has a private room for residents and general supervision .

Has also been informed of some problems in communication and approach between You Calle and staff at the current accommodation.

As we understand , you have a desire to Ida would take part , and the opportunity during our leadership assist in attempts to reactivate her – inspire continued extra stimulation , and during the time at our facility but even after going home and then in a personalized manner.

Both national and international expertise in neurological problemhanteringar is part of our body when it comes to taking on different people’s future prospects in a possible path toward a reactivation and a better well-being.

Emphasize that we are not engaged in health care , but our efforts can be seen as healthy maintenance efforts where the latest advances in clinical work and research in neurological issues form the basis for our action, which is based on each individual’s potential and current status.

Reacting AB conducts some time a reactivation project as a non-profit organization , RAS, procured with us after receiving grants from the Swedish Inheritance Fund .

Applications to participate in this project as large accumulation at present to your inquiry Calle could not be addressed in this project in the foreseeable future .

Reacting AB has the possibility to receive Your mother Ida , under certain conditions that can easily be summarized as:

1. Not being listed in medical care
2. Not having extremely high blood pressure
3. Not had unexplained seizures during the last three months
4. Have relatives in all the current time at the facility.
5. Be prepared to conduct reactivation work over two sessions per day
6. Have accommodation option close to our activity rooms

Before a final acceptance of participation in a reactivation , we would first have the opportunity to:

1. Personal meeting / interview with family members present
2. Ida’s medication list at present and during the last two months
3. Last prepared plan for going rehabilitation and showed progress
4. Ability to share patient records which gradually prepared for Ida .

This answer may form the first link between us when it comes to a possible participation in our activities which would mean a time of strong involvement of family members’ side and a careful treatment of your mother Ida , where our staff with great commitment would make efforts that may be of positive value for both functions and wellbeing .

Currently, the undersigned not want to take up the costs that we at Reacting would like to have as a replacement for our engagement.

Sincerely
Kjell-Erik Söder, VD
Reacting AB
Körfältets Centrum
831 38 Östersund, Tel 063-18 12 00, 070-699 73 87

Original Swedish:

Bäste Calle Johansson !

Får härmed lämna svar på Din förfrågan om Reacting AB:s möjlighet att under begränsad tid möta Din mamma Ida, som i nuläget sedan några år finns på ett åldringsboende i Gäddede, där hon har ett eget rum för boende och allmän tillsyn.

Har också informerats om vissa problem i kommunikationer och synsätt mellan Dig Calle och personal vid aktuellt boende.

Som vi förstått har Du en önskan att Ida skulle få ta del och möjlighet att under vårt ledarskap bistå i försök att reaktivera henne – ge impulser till fortsatt extra stimulering, dels under tid vid vår anläggning men även efter hemgång och då på ett individanpassat sätt.

Såväl nationell som internationell expertis i neurologiska problemhanteringar utgör en del av vår stomme då det gäller att ta sig an olika personers framtida möjligheter i en ev väg mot en reaktivering och ett bättre välbefinnande.

Poängterar att vi inte bedriver sjukvård utan våra insatser kan ses som friskvårdande insatser där senaste rönen i kliniskt arbete och forskning i neurologiska frågor utgör grund för våra insatser, som sker utifrån varje enskild persons potential och aktuell status.

Reacting AB bedriver sedan en tid tillbaka ett reaktiveringsprojekt som en ideell förening, RAS , upphandlat hos oss efter att ha erhållit bidrag från Allmänna Arvsfonden.

Anmälningar till deltagande i detta projekt har så stor anhopning i nuläget att Din förfrågan Calle inte kan beaktas inom detta projekt inom överskådlig tid.

Reacting AB har dock möjlighet att ta emot Din mamma Ida under vissa förutsättningar som enkelt kan sammanfattas som:

1. Inte vara intagen i sjukvårdande behandling
2. Inte ha extremt högt blodtryck
3. Inte haft oförklarliga krampanfall under de senaste tre månaderna
4. Ha anhörigstöd under all aktuell tid vid anläggningen.
5. Vara beredd att bedriva reaktiveringsarbete under två pass per dag
6. Ha boendemöjlighet i nära anslutning till våra aktivitetslokaler

Före ett definitivt accepterande om deltagande i en reaktivering vill vi först ha möjlighet till:

1. Personligt möte/intervju med anhörig närvarande
2. Idas medicinlista i nuläget och under de sista två månaderna
3. Sist upprättad plan för tänkt rehabilitering och uppvisade framsteg
4. Möjlighet att ta del av journalhandlingar som efterhand upprättats för Ida.

Detta svar får utgöra den första länken oss emellan då det gäller ett ev deltagande i vår verksamhet som skulle innebära en tid av starkt engagemang från anhörigas sida och ett omsorgsfullt bemötande av Din mor Ida där vår personal med stort engagemang skulle göra insatser som kan vara av positivt värde för såväl funktioner som för välbefinnande.

I nuläget vill undertecknad inte ta upp de kostnader som vi vid Reacting skulle vilja ha som ersättning för vårt engagemang.

Med vänliga hälsningar
Kjell-Erik Söder, VD
Reacting AB
Körfältets Centrum
831 38 Östersund, Tel 063-18 12 00, 070-699 73 87

Original Letter as attached here: Bäste Calle Johansson 

Letter from Simal Saujani

The following is a letter drafted by Simal Saujani who spent time with Ida Johansson and Calle Johansson over the holidays of December and January 2014/2015 while visiting from Canada.

The letter, as attached, was sent to the Queen of Sweden: gäddede letter of appeal.

Her Majesty the Queen,

I am writing to you today on behalf of a friend and his mom. It’s a difficult story to tell, yet perhaps more so, a difficult story to hear. I believe, however, it deserves to be heard, for we are all members of family, parents and children. My concern is with the respect, dignity and compassion we regard the elderly in our community. Sadly, it seems there is a tradition, independent of place, culture or country that marginalizes the elderly. I am asking for your courage and strength, and your kindness; any small effort to ameliorate the struggles of this young man and his mom. For in helping them, I believe we improve the quality of life for everyone.

Two years ago Calle Johansson’s mom, Ida Johansson, suffered a stroke. She lost the use of her right arm and much of her ability to communicate with words.

Nevertheless, as is usual of stroke victims, she remains every bit a lively, engaging and thoughtful woman. But because we choose to neglect her, her suffering is compounded. We deny her small comforts and give her drugs; a nightlight (occasionally taken away) would ease her fear of the dark much better than forced sleeping pills. We refuse her basic care and leave her lying long hours at a time,unable to move in her own excrement. We take away her right to choose and leave her locked away in the nursing home, Levinsgården (Kullenvägen 10, 830 90 Gäddede), –despite her clear and repeated requests to be someplace else.

I met Ida for the first time Sunday, 4 January. She was initially nervous until Calle explained I was a friend; understandable as, since being admitted to Levinsgården, she has developed a fear of the staff and anyone new she does not recognize. We sat together watching skiing on television and shared some food. It was a small politeness but it was easy to see the joy and pride it gave her to invite me for tea at her table. She insisted I try the cookies and made sure to hand some to me. I’m happy to say, when we met two days later, she was much more comfortable with me and extended her hand to hold mine. Knowing she remains there against her will leaves me deeply sad.

Ida has been granted multiple opportunities to be moved to a medical facility and receive physical rehabilitation therapy. Despite the years of trauma at Levinsgården, still she can communicate and has expressed her desire to relocate. The choice,
however, is no longer hers. Why has this right been taken away from her? Why do we refuse her this one essential basic human dignity, the right to personal freedom?

What are we so afraid of?

I believe we are a great society when we value and respect each and everyone equally. I implore you, please review her circumstances. It is tender to realize how frail we can be. And all the more heartbreaking to witness the injustice and cruelty
we allow on the frail and unfortunate few. I hope her story will move you to action, as it has me to write you this letter.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on the matter.

Humbly yours,

Simal Saujani

Letter from Mandi Gould

To whom it may concern,

I would like to raise the case of Ida Johansson, a friend of ours, who is suffering physical, mental and emotional elder abuse at the nursing home she lives in.

As a friend of Ida, I am writing as representative of a group of international advocates who have spent time with her and who have seen what is happening. We are objective observers and believe what is happening is illegal and violates Ida’s (and the other resident’s) human rights. We are seeking your help.

I have outlined the case, and include a supporting letter from a friend who has most recently spent time with Ida.

Ida Johansson is 92 years old. She suffered a stroke in June 2012. Her husband and daughter denied her post-stroke rehabilitation. She was transferred to the Levinsgården nursing home in Gäddede, the village she lived in.

• Ida has not yet had any stroke rehabilitation treatment. She is regularly abused.

• Ida, and the other patients, are made to lie in bed most of the time. Their rooms are sound proofed and no physical or mental stimulation is provided. Doors are sometimes locked and there have been instances where residents have been restrained.

• Patients are left to urinate and defecate on themselves in bed. They are often unassisted despite calling for help and left to lie in it for hours at a time.

• Ida and the other residents are strongly medicated, to the point of senselessness.

• Since September 2014, Ida has been given 7.5mg of Imovane daily. Imovane (a sleeping tablet) can be highly addictive. It is also potentially lethal for a stroke victim who suffers from sleep apnea. Ida’s communication has become increasingly incomprehensible as the dosage of Imovane she is being given has increased.

• Ida Johansson’s general health is not being maintained. For example, She has untreated skin and toenail infections.

• Ida is forced to stay in bed all day and night, which is causing her physical pain.

• Ida’s oral health is not being maintained. She has lost teeth, has dental pain and now finds eating difficult. The risk of developing an infection which could be life threatening for a 92 year old is one which must be taken seriously.

• Ida’s pain is such that she cries and screams.

• Patients spend most of their time in bed. Bed rest is contra to recommended stroke rehabilitation. They have no physical or mental stimulation; the dark rooms they stay in bring on depression and feelings of loneliness.

• Staff do not converse normally or socially with Ida or any of the residents. They ignore Ida and the other patients. They talk over top of them, as one might talk about an animal or an object. Staff show no respect to their residents.

• The only social time residents at Levinsgården have is at meal time. However meals are eaten in silence. Only one member of staff is present, and visitors are made to leave.

• Ida is regularly excluded from the church service on Sundays because staff define her enthusiastic singing as ‘disruptive’.

• Ida is treated as though she has no mental capacity; her expressions of like or dislike, assent or objection, fear or happiness are disregarded.

What a number of people have seen at Levinsgården breaks both Swedish and EU law, and violates the basic human rights of its residents.

Ida Johansson’s husband, Gösta, is her legal spokesperson, however he is unable to understand her attempts to communicate with him, which upsets her deeply. Her diminished communication skills are mistaken for poor cognitive skills.

Ida is being supported by her son, Calle, who has been trying to advocate on her behalf since her stroke. However, the village has ostracized him for challenging the practices at the nursing home.

Calle has been working for two years to alert the authorities to his concerns about the way in which Levinsgården is treating residents. He has not yet had a satisfactory response to his concerns.

Reports have been made to the relevant local authorities. However, we have experienced threats and harassment from Levinsgården when reports have been made. The nursing home denies our claims, and says it acts upon IVO (the Health and Social Care Inspectorate, part of Socialstyrelsen) reports. However, without follow-up, unannounced visits by inspectors, further investigation or rigorous, ongoing supervision, the situation remains unchanged.

The local and municipal police will not consider the case. Calle and a family friend, Maeve Hunter (who is currently staying in Gaddede) have been threatened by the Kommunchef (Municipality Mayor), and harassed by local people and staff for trying to alert the authorities to the ongoing problems.

Having taken as many routes as we can think of to improve the lives of the vulnerable older people at Levinsgården, we are seeking your help. If you could see what is going on there on a daily basis, you would be as appalled and upset as we are. Nobody should require protection from those who claim to provide care, be they health care professionals, ‘good man’ or family.

On behalf of our group, and more importantly, on behalf of Ida Johansson and the other suffering residents of Levinsgården, we thank you in advance for whatever help and attention you can lend to this situation.

Yours sincerely,

Mandi Gould, citizen of Canada
Maeve Hunter, citizen of the United Kingdom
Elliott Donnelley, citizen of the United States of America
Lorenz Ilg, citizen of Switzerland
Buddy Steves, citizen of the United States of America
Chachi Geraldes, citizen of Canada

Supporting evidence.

Letter from Lorenz Ilg

10/16/2014

To whom it may concern:

My name is Lorenz Ilg and I have a personal background as a lawyer/barrister as well as judge here in Switzerland.

I’ve been to Gäddedde last time from 2nd until 5th of october 2014 and visited Ida Johansson 3 times: 3rd, 4th and 5th of october. I’ve previously been visiting 17th to 21st of october 2012 as well as from 27th until 30th of december 2012. .I’ve known Calle Johansson since 1990 and have had the privilege of working with him closely many times and in many different situations over the past 24 years. I first met Ida and Gösta in Herräng, Sweden 20 years ago s ago, so I can say that I’ve known the family for some time now!

My own father also suffered several strokes and lives in a home since august 2013. So I have both the knowledge and experience to compare to.

Today I am reporting to you about this case of Ida Joansson with severe neglecting of care, even refusal of care as follows:

1. When getting her ready for going out for a promenade on the 4th of october 2014, we realised when changing her socks, that her feet were not washed for a long time, she had open, sore skin as well as fungus on almost all her toenails. It is obvious, that the facility she is staying at is not looking after her, not even basic needs of hygiene are fullfilled!

2. It is obvious to see that her teeth are not well taken care of. Therefore she has a hard time eating independently since she has a lot of pain. It is very clear that the facility Ida is staying at is not providing the absolute necessary care, instead let her health get worse and worse!

3. When visiting her in the afternoon around 17 o’clock on the 4th of october she was still or again in bed, without any stimulation. The same happened on the mornign on the 5th of october, when we tried to visit her around 11 o’clock: she was still in bed! Obviously the schedule issued for her rehabilitation is not followed through at all! We could never witness any kind of therapy in this direction – not the least sign of it, and neither now nor in 2012! How can a stroke patient not get any kind of rehabilitation or therapy, not even the least kind of activity?!!! Honestly, it is hard to believe that this is even possible in a developped country like Sweden!!! My father got daily therapy from the very beginning after his stroke – and still gets it daily!

4. When visiting on the evening of the 3rd of october 2014 she hasn’t even had dinner yet, but got her night-fika at the same time. So she got neglected feeding her, or feeding her at the same time! It seems that the facility is not providing her any kind of regularity in her day, neither for a daily routine in general nor when it comes to eating/feeding! How can this be possible in a developped country like Sweden!

5. It was very obvious that Ida Johansson gets sedated by strong medication. Through a coincidence we found a paper in the bin which showed that they took out 100 tablets of 5mg each of Imovane on the 5th of September! There are evidences that she gets even the generica of Zopiclone, which could sum up to an even higher dose of almost 7.5 mg of Imovane daily! Even worse we hear that she is getting this since 2012! It is internationally notorious that Imovane is totally contraindicated for stroke patients (see p.ex.http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/consumers/cmi/i/imovane.pdf, page 4) and should only be taken for a short period, recommended only for 2 – 4 weeks.

6. Every time we visited Ida Johansson at our last visit 3rd, 4th and 5th of october it took over 10 minutes until some care staff of the facility appeared after Ida called for help to get ready to even recieve visitors in her room!

7. It is remarkable, that the remiss of the first doctor of Ida Johansson to treat her at Remonthagen got taken back after very short time. Was it because of economical reasons or under pressure of some family members? How comes that the medical diagnosis of a doctor does not win over some particulary intrests of either family members or economical intrests (like p.ex. not giving an older stroke patient the treatment they need and they’ve paid for during her lifetime)?

8. While I know Göste Johansson and have had good interactions with him prior to Ida’s stroke it seems quite clear that he is not up to the job of being a Good Man for Ida and has endangered his wife by not properly overseeing her course of treatment or standing up for what I have witnessed to be her improper treatment and care. I understand that a police report has been filed agains Gosta as well. Based upon my knowledge of the current situation I think it is in the best interest of Ida that a new Good Man is found who is capable of looking out for the best interest of Ida.

9. I also understand that Anders Andersson, Chairman of the Östersund kommun, has been involved in the process of nominating Gosta as the good man, even being present in person. This seems completely inappropriate and borders on corruption. I’m deeply concerned that not only is Ida Johanson being mistreated but that the Swedish health care system and criminal justice system is not handling this case in a proper fashion.

I also strongly question the management of the facility Levinsgarden.

I’d strongly encourage you to act quickly to correct this situation and to hold those accountable for Ida’s poor level of care and what I have seen to be her ongoing mistreatment.

Best regards
Lorenz Ilg

Letter from Elliott Donnelley

Date: Mon, Sep 10, 2012

When I visited Calle and his mother in Gaddede from August 13-17th I found his mother to be alert active and, although unable to form words due to her stroke, very responsive and willing and eager to engage n physical activity. She was very aware of what was going on and understood what people said to her as well as followed all of the conversations around her.  I also noticed first hand  how the staff at the facility were less than responsive to her needs.

Contratry to the local Nursing stafff’s allegations, Calle was very respectful, loving and caring of his mother and was kind and respectful to the facility’s staff.

During my visit two residents of Gaddede approached us and told a similar story of neglect by the local nursing facility.  The mother of the woman we spoke with had not been cared for properly and developed an infection which led to her legs being amputated. When she complained the head nurse apparently threatened her and her mother. When she filed a formal complaint with the local authorities,  the nurse was outwardly more responsive but the course of care materially did not change. The residents were nervous about sharing the story with us and were afraid to go on the record as they feared retaliation.