Report slams elderly care home treatment

Updated 2018 07 21: updated link and added links

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 3:05am GMT 19/12/2007

The appalling treatment of elderly people in care homes has been laid bare in a report which found some are dragged around by their hair, strapped into wheelchairs, locked in their rooms and sedated.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), describes how frail and vulnerable people are mistreated and often threatened or intimidated. Its 65-page report, Rights, Risks and Restraints, is based on a survey of 253 older people and their carers and an analysis of complaints and official inspection reports.

The report is based on a survey of 253 older people and an analysis of complaints and official inspection reports.

It paints an upsetting picture of the way some people are treated, often because of staff shortages or lack of training.

Charities for the elderly were united in regarding the stories of abuse as “horrendous”. They include:

  • A staff member dragging a resident by her hair and tying her to a chair.
  • Two staff routinely wrapping immobile and incontinent residents tightly in sheets to prevent them moving.
  • A woman being kept waiting up to three hours before being taken to the lavatory.
  • A resident locked in a bathroom with a chair under the door handle and the light put out. Staff were told to serve her coffee in the lavatory.
  • Two residents with dementia being restrained while drugs were forced into their mouths.

The CSCI said it could not say how widespread restraint practices were, but three quarters of those in the survey said they, or someone they knew, had been restrained.

Gary FitzGerald, of the Action on Elder Abuse charity, called for urgent action to stamp out such behaviour.

Martin Green, of the English Community Care Association, said: “The report highlights the complexity of the issues of restraint and I am pleased that CSCI brought together a range of stakeholders to debate the report and to think about how the sector responds.”



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