Ida was refused stroke rehabilitation

Ida Johansson, 93, suffered a stroke in the summer of 2012. Since then, she lives in a retirement home called Levingsgården in Gäddede, in the municipality of Strömsund in northern Jämtland. Her son Calle Johansson fights to get the right care and rehabilitation for her..

Ida lost the ability to speak and was paralyzed on her right side at the stroke in June 2012. Her mental capacity, however, is intact and she can make herself well understood. In the acute stage, she received good care at the hospital in Östersund, with both physical therapy and occupational therapy once or twice a day, starting after one day as she lay on the stroke emergency room. She was very willing to training, says Calle.

Ida was supposed to receive care at Remonthagen rehabilitation center in Östersund. But her daughter and husband stopped the referral a local physician in Gäddede had written. He agreed to send Ida to Levinsgården , a place that she had expressly asked to never move to.

There are plenty of shortcomings in the care at Levinsgården. Calle has continually pointed out that Ida and other residents are abused both mentally and physically by the staff. Both staff and relatives call him “a work ambience problem”. He has been harassed and threatened on several occasions and received a restraining order. Levinsgården claims to have a stroke rehabilitation program, but what is in the document does not take place.

– My mother is struggling, but she feels terribly bad about the situation. The staff has possibly gotten better at hiding what is going on Levin farm. However, abuse and neglect continues as before, says Calle on the situation.

Many visitors can testify how bad the situation is at the retirement home. Here are some examples:

– Ida is forced to lie in bed most of the time, against her will. Other residents are frequently confined to their rooms, encouraged to rest all day
They do not have access to some activity or other stimulation. The rooms are soundproofed and occasionally locked. Excessive resting generally has adverse health effects and is adverse for the treatment of stroke patients. – Ida is frequently isolated in darkness, which can bring on depression.
– Ida may not go to the bathroom when she wants and often forced to make defecate in bed, and sometimes lies in her own excrement for hours.

– Ida gets large doses of the sleeping pill Imovane, often making her clumsy and confused.
– Ida’s health has deteriorated during her stay at Levinsgården; She has untreated lung-, skin- and toenail infections.
– Oral hygiene is poor. Ida has lost several teeth and has difficulty eating because she has so much pain in the mouth. This can cause infections that can be fatal for her age.
– A large part of the staff shows no respect toward Ida and the other residents. They talk over their heads, lifting and moving them without warning or explanation what they do.
– Ida is treated by the staff and some of her relatives as if she has no mental capacity at all, even though she can clearly demonstrate her approval and disapproval.

Calle has made a number of attempts to lift the problems with Strömsund municipality but they have been fruitless. Several complaints have also been made to the Inspectorate for Health Care, IVO, but apart from an injunction to fix Ida’s teeth there has been no results .

– Friends of mom and me who have visited Levin have begun to contact politicians, international media and international human rights organizations to try to improve the situation. The local media has sadly not wanted to cover this, says Calle.

Maria Holm
Freelance journalist