A dementia patient in Canada is being treated for infection after a staff member at a long-term care facility found mice nibbling on her face. Due to the patient’s physical disabilities, she was unable to remove the mice herself.

The healthcare advocacy group Friends of Medicare report that the incident occurred September 1 at St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge, Alberta. Though the woman is physically recovering from bites that drew blood, she has also been “emotionally impacted” by the event. A nest of mice was found in the patient’s closet after the biting.

Staff members at the St. Therese Villa began reporting the incidence of mice about a year ago and they were recently demanded by management to clean up mouse droppings before a visit from the Health Minister Fred Horne. The facility has also been struggling with a nine-month bedbug infestation.

Sheli Murphy, vice-president of rural operations for the company who runs the home, blames the event on the location of the home:

“There have been, unfortunately, mice in the building on occasion,” Murphy said. “I wish I could say there was a 100-per-cent way of not having them come into a building. St. Therese (seniors villa) is located on the edge of town right next a farmer’s field so this is a time of year with combining, the mice are starting to move around.”

Murphy, however, said they will now ensure “the environment is clean, safe and free of mice.”

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