Two carers of a vulnerable 89 year old lady, Mrs Ivy Robinson, have been sentenced at Leeds crown Court following sickening acts of verbal and physical abuse at at Oakfoss House Residential Care Home in Pontefract, West Yorkshire last year.
The horrific treatment of Mrs. Robinson was revealed when her concerned daughter, Angela Wood, planted a small CCTV camera in her room. Ivy Robinson, who suffers from dementia, was hit, shaken, sworn at, dragged across the bedroom floor and not given the correct doses of her medication by staff supposed to be looking after her. In a previous post we suggested that the notorious Winterbourne View case exposed on BBC TV’s panorama programme was not the worst or last such example of elderly abuse. Sadly, cases continue to be reported or brought to the attention of charities such as Action on Elder Abuse.
There are many tell-tale signs of elderly neglect or possible abuse in care or nursing homes. Members of staff slapping, hitting, pushing, or shaking a patient is utterly unacceptable under any circumstances. If your relative has a bad body odour or smells of urine, this could indicate that they are not being bathed frequently enough or could well be a sign that they are choosing not to have an assisted bath to prevent abuse. If an elderly person seems withdrawn or sullen or is reluctant to talk within earshot of the care staff that too may indicate possible abuse problems.
The camera in Mrs Robinson’s room was hidden in an alarm clock after Mrs Wood became concerned about bruises on her mother’s hands. Her suspicions were also raised by the fact that Mrs Robinson became distressed when Mrs Wood and her husband said they would have to go and she often cried and begged her daughter not to leave her in the £1,600 a month care home. Her decision to install a camera was a 'last resort' and followed 'various incidents that could not be explained' by care home staff.
You can view the shocking video evidence of the mistreatment of Mrs. Robinson at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMopbgM-YkI but be aware that it makes disturbing viewing.
The damning secretly filmed footage showed Mrs Robinson being dragged from a chair to her bed, routinely subject to verbal abuse and insults, given incorrect doses of her required medication and being struck by her carers, whom the care home owners Denestar Ltd, described as ‘longstanding, experienced employees with extensive training in caring for and safeguarding elderly and vulnerable people’.
Senior carer Emma Bryan was jailed for four months at Leeds Crown Court and her colleague Katherine Wallis was given a 12-month community order after admitting mistreating Mrs Robinson. Passing sentence, Judge Guy Kearl, QC, told them: “This neglect and ill-treatment is unforgivable and unacceptable. You failed to accord for the respect and dignity of this respectful and elderly lady.”