Aged worker suspended over family’s hidden camera footage
A CAIRNS-based aged care worker has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into the treatment of an elderly woman in a White Rock nursing home.
Late last week Cindy Bowers posted hidden camera footage of her 88-year-old mother's experience as a resident of Bupa's Mount Sheridan aged care facility.
The elderly resident can be seen on the video repeatedly asking staff to take her to the toilet.
The female worker charged with attending to the patient takes care of paperwork while the dementia-affected resident sits in a chair quivering and pleading for help.
The worker responds by saying "there's no one here that can help me, they are all busy," she then leaves the room.
Ms Bowers said she was shocked that her mum's repeated pleas went unanswered for so long.
"She was begging her to take her to the toilet and she just finished what she was doing and she left," she said.
"This is only one incident that has been caught on camera. On a weekly basis I put in complaints."
Ms Bowers said management's response was to request the video be taken down.
In a statement to the Cairns Post Bupa regional director Philip Mackney said he was aware of the online vision and disciplinary action had been taken.
"The footage that we have seen is distressing and disturbing, and we are deeply sorry. No resident in our care should expect this treatment," he said.
"As soon as we became aware of the situation we started a full investigation, and as per standard practice, the staff member involved has been suspended pending the outcome."
Ms Bowers said her mother suffered six falls last year before the family decided to covertly plant a camera in her room.
She said meetings with management about the care of her mother had not resulted in a better standard of care.
"(Facility workers) are lacking compassion and there is a shortage of staff," Ms Bowers said.