Shocking video footage taken by hidden camera at an Ontario, Canada, nursing home shows an elderly woman being subjected to horrific abuse at the hands of nursing home employees.
Four employees at St Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care home have been suspended pending investigation, the (U.K.) Daily Mail reports, after a patient’s son documented repeated abuse with a hidden camera he placed in his mother’s room. The Ontario Ministry of Health is investigating the case. While Alan Cavell, CEO of St Joseph’s at Fleming, stopped short of calling the treatment seen on camera abuse, “I would think that most people would say that it was,” he told CTV News.
Over a three-week period, the video footage shows, nurses repeatedly fought with a struggling Hellen MacDonald, 85, who has dementia, roughly holding her down as they were caring for her. Among the abuses recorded: a nurse shoved a feces-stained rag in MacDonald’s face, while other nurses blew their noses on the patient’s sheets, the Daily Mail reports. Camille Parent, MacDonald’s son, placed the camera in his mother’s room following a series of suspicious incidents, including one in which his mother sustained a black eye.
Abuse at the hands of caregivers is a frightening reality for nursing home patients and their families across the United States and Canada, and dealing with abuse and neglect is difficult. Patients with dementia or those who have suffered strokes often have difficulty communicating about abusive treatment. Other patients are reluctant to report abuse for fear of retaliation. Elder care advocates say that family and friends must be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect of their loved ones. They should promptly report such signs as unexplained bruises, cuts, and injuries; weight loss; poor hygiene; fear and anxiety; and changes in the patient’s behavior and habits.