A daughter was shocked to discover her elderly father was abused by an employee at one of the biggest aged care providers in Australia after she installed a hidden camera.
The footage shows Corey Lucas force-feeding Clarence Hausler, 89, grabbing his hands and holding a napkin on his face while pinching his nose aggressively.
Noleen Hausler was shocked to see the abuse that occurred in September 2015 at Mitcham Residential Care Facility.
She gave the footage to police and the carer was later imprisoned over the abuse.
Ms. Hausler, a nurse, shared her dad’s story as part of a case study at the aged care royal commission. She said in a statement: “Being confronted with the visual images, I went into a state of shock and total concern for my father.
“My heart was racing (and) my hands were shaking.”
She repeatedly cried as she provided the footage at the hearing. Over eight days, her father was physically assaulted two times by Lucas. An agency employee also maltreated him.
“I had no idea that someone could possibly do that,” Ms. Hausler, whose father passed away in 2017, expressed. “I felt for dad in the fact that I didn’t protect him sufficiently.”
She added: “I believe that my father’s quality of life suffered as a direct result of management’s culture.
“If a lesson can be learnt, it is that resident-centered care means everyone’s voice must be heard and respected regardless of being verbal, non-verbal, advocated, evidenced or witnessed.
“I believe extremely vulnerable loved ones in care, who mirror my father’s diminished capacity to speak or defend themselves, deserve additional protection in their private rooms.”
Ms. Hausler also said to reporters that having CCTV in all rooms was a ‘no brainer’ to make sure people were taken care of.
“(It’s) very much a widespread problem in the sector … it happens all behind closed doors,” she went on. “These are the most vulnerable people … they can’t speak, they can’t raise the alarm.”
Lucas pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault. He served only three weeks of his 10-month sentence.
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