A Family Who Hid A Secret Camera In Their Grandmother’s Bedroom At A Care Home In Wolverhampton Has Revealed The Shocking Abuse She Suffered At The Hands Of Four Carers.
As reported by Daily Mail, Beryl Wall, 89, who had dementia and could not speak, was mocked, hit, pinched, pushed, and restrained by the staff who were supposed to look after her. The abuse was captured by a Yi Eye Wi-Fi camera that was disguised as a photo frame and recorded footage through motion detection straight to one of the granddaughters’ phones. The family decided to install the camera after noticing bruises on Mrs Wall’s body and changes in her behaviour, but they were not prepared for what they saw.
The footage, which was recorded over four days in February 2020, showed the carers making fun of Mrs Wall, calling her “disgusting”, and hitting her over the head with a pillow. One of the carers, a cleaner, also assaulted Mrs Wall with a rag used to clean a toilet, threatened to empty a bin on her head, and made indecent sexual gestures in her face. The family reported the abuse to the care home managers, the Care Quality Commission, and the West Midlands Police, who launched a criminal investigation.
The four carers, Ame Tunkara, 33, Morounranti Adefila, 43, Danny Ohen, 39, and Bridget Aideyan, 49, were later charged with ill-treatment and wilful neglect. They were found guilty and jailed for a total of 18 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court at the end of last year. The family said they were “devastated” and “heartbroken” by the abuse and hoped that their grandmother’s case would raise awareness of the issue of elder abuse in care homes.
They also said they felt “let down” by the care home, which charged £1,000 a week and claimed to provide “luxury living, exceptional care”. The care home, which is owned by Signature Senior Lifestyle, a Canada-based company that operates 36 luxury facilities mostly in the south of England, apologised for the abuse and said it had taken “swift and decisive action” to dismiss the staff involved. The company also said it had implemented “a comprehensive action plan” to improve the quality and safety of care at the home, which was rated as “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission in March 2020.
The Care Quality Commission said it was “appalled” by the abuse and had taken “urgent enforcement action” against the care home, including imposing conditions on its registration and issuing a warning notice. The regulator also said it was working closely with the local authority and the police to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the residents. The police said they were “shocked and disgusted” by the abuse and praised the family for their “courage and determination” in bringing the offenders to justice.
The police also said they were committed to protecting vulnerable people from harm and urged anyone who had concerns about the care of a loved one to contact them. The family said they hoped that their grandmother, who died in April 2020, was now at peace and that no one else would have to go through what she did. They also said they wanted to see more regulation and monitoring of care homes, as well as better training and support for carers, to prevent such abuse from happening again.
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