Is your loved one being abused in a UK care home?
There have been several incidences in the last year alone involving elderly people in nursing homes being abused physically and psychologically and being malnourished and badly treated. A few of these have been validated with proof from surveillance and spy cameras.
Unfortunately as we get older, we lose our means to defend ourselves and ageism leads to people ignoring abuse complaints; people don’t always take what the elderly claim seriously.
In the United Kingdom, a 2006 National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) study found that 342,400 elderly people “living in private households (including sheltered housing)” had experienced some form of abuse in the past year.
More than 60 percent of the elderley’s abusers were a family member and 13 percent reported their abuser as a care worker. Additionally, women were found to be more likely to suffer from abuse than men; 3.8 percent of women surveyed reported abuse while only 1.1 percent of men did.
One instance of elderly abuse was featured heavily in 2011. A reporter at BBC’s Panorama went undercover at Winterbourne View in Hambrook, a community for adults with mental and physical disabilities. Residents here were not only verbally but also physically abused by staff members, being subject to teasing and slapping. One resident in particular was forced to have a shower while fully clothed, and then forced to stand outside in the cold.
The BBC stepped in when calls for investigations into the abuses were ignored by the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC). In outrage, Stephen Dorell, the Chair of the Commons Health Committee said to The Guardian, “I presume the majority of those cases [i.e. patients and their care costs] were paid for with public funds. The people [i.e. employees of the government] who signed the checks have a duty to make certain that standards are of an adequate nature.”
In April another incident was recorded by BBC Panorama at a care home in Kentish Town, North London. The show reveals the appalling treatment of an elderly resident with dementia, captured on film after her concerned daughter hid a secret alarm clock camera. This particular care home was passed as ‘excellent’ by the national regulator, the Care Quality Commission, and this incident led to five care workers being sacked, with one pleading guilty to assault. Without evidence of the mistreatment and abuse these workers would have still been working at this care home.
The facts and figures:
- 11%, or approximately 159,000 nursing home residents suffer from abuse. – 2004, CDC
- 10,000 more Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day, 1 in 4 of whom is at risk of abuse. – 2008 British Geriatrics Society
- Reports indicate only 1 in 5 cases of physical elderly abuse are ever reported. NCEA.gov
If you are concerned for a relative or friend please don’t hesitate to take action. Make sure you find a way of acquiring evidence, undercover surveillance is one of the best options for this, and then use this against the care home immediately – to prevent any further incidences towards other residents.
As for covert cameras, we recommend, the night vision battery powered spy recorder. This not only has a wide angle lens and PIR motion detection, but also includes infrared night vision! Meaning that this Hidden DVR camera will capture clear footage even when the lights are off! You can set it to motion detect mode, so that it only records when it detects movement in the room – saving battery life, and it also has a sensitive integrated microphone built in so that you can pick up any conversations. The camera is really compact, so easy to hide on a shelf or bedside table.
We hope that there is no or very little abuse to be found in care homes this year and that your relative, friend or loved one, spends their days having fun and living happily. However, if you are worried or would just like some peace of mind then it is always best to be on the safe side when leaving them in the care of others.
If you have any questions or queries the SpyCameraCCTV team are always here to help – just call our free support line on 0117 325 2470.