Hidden Video Reveals Abuse of Alzheimer’s Patient in the UK
Written by Jeff Meyer on September 23, 2015
In what speaks towards a global problem of nursing home abuse, footage taken by a hidden video camera device in a Birmingham, United Kingdom nursing home has resulted in a police investigation and the termination of two employees taped in the elder care abuse incident. In the video, which depicts Ridings Care Home staff member treatment of a sixty-eight year old Alzheimer’s patient, caregivers are shown verbally abusing Bridget McDonald, while also degrading and terrifying the patient by way of acts of physical abuse as well. Both employees were terminated from the Ridings Care Home upon the disclosure of the videotaped evidence, and one of the employees was cautioned by police for common assault as part of his role in the abuse, which involved poking the elderly patient repeatedly in a threatening and menacing manner.
Shockingly, the abuse was perpetrated by not one, but two caregivers employed by the Ridings Care Home in Castle Vale. In the video, a terrified and bewildered patient is depicted being subjected to humiliation and threats from both staff members, who felt that the patient was ignoring staff requests to make her bed, as well as to respond to staff interactions. McDonald, the sixty-eight year victim of the nursing home abuse, suffers from a particular form of Alzheimer’s known as Korsakoff Syndrome, which impairs her short-term memory, while also causing disorientation and cognitive confusion. The video depicts staff members being highly indifferent to this condition, and likely, taking comfort in their abusive actions as likely to be unreported in light of the woman’s condition.
The footage revealing these shocking acts of elder abuse in the United Kingdom were recorded by a video camera placed secretly by family members in the form of a desk clock. According to family members, while their mother had resided without incident at the Ridings Care Home without incident for nearly eight years, a recent change in behavior alerted the family to potential problems. Specifically, daughter Rachel McDonald recalled an incident in which her mother profusely apologized for spilling a glass of milk, while exhibiting an extreme amount of duress clearly not commensurate with the damage potentially caused by the milk spill. This incident, as well as an overall change in demeanor in their loved one, caused family members to suspect correctly something was amiss with the care being provided at the facility, despite assurances from their elderly loved one to the contrary.
According to UK officials, reports of elder abuse have been on the rise in the country, with an estimated forty percent of incidents involving staff on patient abuse similar to those depicted in the case at Ridings Care Home. For more information, or to report suspected elder abuse, it is imperative concerned family members consult with an attorney, while also contacting the relevant government officials to protect their vulnerable loved ones.
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