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Hidden Camera Uncovers Patient Abuse In Adelaide Nursing Home

Footage shows a carer trying to suffocate an 89-year-old patient

The daughter of an elderly man who suspected that her father was being mistreated has released chilling footage of abuse in his Adelaide nursing home.

Feeling like the staff at the Mitcham Residential Care Facility weren’t taking her concern seriously, Noleen Hausler took things into her own hands and installed a tiny camera in her father, Clarence Hausler’s room.

“I thought I wasn’t being heard and I was suspicious of a certain staff member,” Ms Hausler told ABC’s 7.30

“I thought long and hard about how I could actually get the evidence and the only way I could do that was to put in a video camera and film what was going on.”

The camera uncovered shocking treatment of the 89-year-old, who was bedridden with dementia, including physical and verbal abuse.

In the footage, Mr Hausler’s carer Corey Lyle Lucas, appear to force-feed him, sneeze on him, hit him on the head and attempt to suffocate him.

The footage led to a conviction and Lucas pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault in September 2015 and was sentenced to 10-months.

A spokesperson from Mitcham Residential Care said in a statement they were “shocked, concerned and saddened to learn of the incident in September 2015”.

“This was a rogue act by someone who has now been criminally prosecuted,” read the statement. “We reiterate our sincere apologies to the resident and his family. As soon as we became aware of the incident, the individual was immediately suspended and we have assisted with the police investigation which has since led to a conviction.”

Now Ms Hausler is calling for tougher laws to protect patients, and giving families more rights and she hopes by releasing this footage it will help raise awareness.

“I’ve kept my father at Mitcham because I think it was the person doing this despicable acts rather than the institution, but we need change — I would like to see a clause in the tenancy agreement that says if a family has concerns they can put monitoring equipment in,” she added.

Ms Hausler says she contacted Attorney-General John Rau but says she was told to seek legal advice.

“I want to see change — these people are sitting targets for people who feel the power to abuse them in the privacy of a bedroom.”

Premier Jay Weatherill has responded calling for further safeguards to ensure aged care residents were safe, reports The Courier Mail

“There obviously needs to be the training and monitoring of the way in which people are employed and screened for employment, but I think we do need to give consideration for other technological measures. 

“When we put our loved ones in aged care facilities they’re only there because they are too frail to be cared for at home – that means they are inherently vulnerable.”

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