The incident came to light when Clarence Hausler's daughter, Noleen hid a camera in her father's room. He was at the Mitcham Residential Care Facility in Adelaide, run by one of the biggest aged caregiving company, Japara Healthcare. She spoke of the ordeal on Monday before a commission.
A disturbing video of a bedridden 89-year-old man suffering from dementia being abused by a staff member of one of New Zealand's biggest care providers for the elderly has emerged. Clarence Hausler was abused at the Mitcham Residential Care Facility in Adelaide, operated by Japara Healthcare back in September 2015. The video shows the elderly man lying on his bed while the caregiver is seen grabbing his arms and holding a napkin over his face while aggressively twisting his nose. The footage also showed Hausler being force-fed. Hausler was also assaulted by another employee of the agency.
Noleen suspected the worst, then the CCTV in her father's room exposed aggravated assaults#AgedCare #AgedCareRC #CorpGov #JaparaHealthcare@agedcarecrisis @CorpGovResearch https://t.co/n5hgTlfk4H via @ABCNews— Rarely Wright (@2Rarely) June 25, 2019
Hausler's daughter, Noleen, had suspected that the staff at the facility were not taking care of her father properly and had even raised a complaint. But nothing was done. Instead, she was accused of illegally spying on staff before finally being taken seriously. Noleen decided to take matters in her own hands and hid a camera in the room that filmed the humiliating ordeal. A nurse herself, she shared her late father's story as part of a case study at the Aged Care Royal Commission in Perth on Monday.
She provided the footage to the police. The facility's staff member named Corey Lucas was jailed on charges of aggravated assault. Noleen cried as she gave evidence at the hearing about her father reports Daily Mail. "I had no idea that someone could possibly do that. I felt for dad in the fact that I didn't protect him sufficiently." Hausler spent about 13 years at the 38-bed facility before Japara took over it in 2014. While her father passed away in 2017, Noleen did not stop her fight to expose the cruel treatment meted out to her father at the facility.
One of his staff members tried to suffocate an elderly client but Japara healthcare's chief was "distraught" at being shown "very little respect" owed to him as "the CEO of a large organisation" by residents' families https://t.co/u8wYWRqZ6Y— Myriam Robin (@myriamrobin) June 27, 2019
In a statement, she said, "Being confronted with the visual images, I went into a state of shock and total concern for my father. My heart was racing (and) my hands were shaking." It was during an eight-day period in September 2015 when the abuse took place twice by Lucas and another time by an agency employee. "I believe that my father's quality of life suffered as a direct result of management's culture," she said.
Despite the assault, Noleen pointed out that there were some members of the staff who had been kind and compassionate. "If a lesson can be learnt, it is that resident-centred care means everyone's voice must be heard and respected regardless of being verbal, non-verbal, advocated, evidenced or witnessed. I believe extremely vulnerable loved ones in care, who mirror my father's diminished capacity to speak or defend themselves, deserve additional protection in their private rooms."
Commissioner Richard Tracey thanked Noeleen for sharing her "terrible experiences" to assist the commission's understanding about the lack of care that occurs from time to time. Japara prioritizing its own corporate interests and reputation over person-centered care is also an angle that is being looked at by the commission. Noleen told reporters that CCTV inside rooms was a "no brainer" to ensure people were protected. She also said her father's case was not an isolated incident.
PhotoJapara Healthcare chief executive Mark Sudholz https://t.co/fmeTaREqUQ via @abcnews This outfit has 82 subsidiary companies. Are all 82 devoted to driving aged people into early graves? And how much tax are these 82 paying?? Not much I bet.— Mike Gard (@rustedon) June 25, 2019
Aged Care Royal Commission hears of almost 300 serious assaults at Japara Healthcare homes - https://t.co/XDXxdydsFF— Advanced Care Aust (@Advancedcare1) June 27, 2019
"(It's) very much a widespread problem in the sector ... it happens all behind closed doors. These are the most vulnerable people ... they can't speak, they can't raise the alarm," Noleen added. Soon after the incident came to light, Lucas pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault. Although he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, he served just for three weeks.