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Paralysed pensioner abused by care worker

A paralysed pensioner with Motor Neurones Disease was abused by a care worker who dragged him out of bed and pulled him across the floor while shouting at him to stand up. Read more about his story.

08 July 2021

Newsroom - anonymous behind old couple

David is an elderly gentleman with Motor Neurone Disease and requires full time round the clock care which he receives from his devoted wife, Linda, of 56 years.

Linda needed some respite from caring for her husband as there’d been a death in the family and she’d just recovered from bowel cancer. Her sons convinced her to go away for a couple of weeks with a friend which is when she decided to admit David to a care home while she went away. It broke her heart to leave him but the care home assured Linda that David would be in good hands.

David has suffered with the rare condition for over 20 years. It affects his brain, nerves and causes his muscles to waste away. He can no longer speak for himself and has to use a light writer to communicate.

Just over a week into his stay at the Langfield Nursing and Residential Home in Middleton, David received a visit from his sister and brother-in-law. They overheard a member of staff shouting at a resident with dementia and asked David if he could hear the commotion. David pointed to himself and his sister asked him if they’d done the same to him.

The staff had put his light writer out of his reach but when his sister found it, he explained what had happened. His chest was all blistered as they’d left him unsupervised with a hot cup of tea which he couldn’t hold for long so had dropped it, causing him to scald himself.

Other family members noticed that David hadn’t been bathed or showered the whole time he was in the home and that he’d been put back to bed after using the toilet without being wiped. David’s sister had also found her brother slumped in the bottom of the bed with his legs bent and only a quilt cover with no quilt inside for warmth over him.

Linda said: “I stopped my holiday early to come in to get Dave and when I went in, all his bruises were turning yellow. They would have disappeared if I would have stayed away for the full two weeks. He was in a real mess when I saw him, I was so annoyed.

“The nurse who had come to our house to reassure me that Dave would be fine at the home before I’d decided to go away came in and asked why I was taking him home. She said: Mrs Taylor, we all make mistakes. I said: “A mistake to me is putting my husband’s slippers on the wrong feet not dragging him across the floor like a rag doll.

"The home also told me they’d reported the incident to Social Services but I spoke to somebody from Social Services afterwards and they said they hadn’t been informed. It deserves to be closed down.”

Kim Harrison who specialises in abuse cases at Slater and Gordon, represented Mr Taylor in a civil case against St Andrews Care GRP Limited who ran the home at the time of the incident but no longer do. Liability was not admitted but the matter settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Kim said: “Mr Taylor was admitted to Langfield Nursing and Residential Home on the understanding that they would care for him while his wife took a much-needed break. Not only did they fail to care for him but they abused him and caused him harm. They treated an elderly vulnerable man who had worked all his life with no dignity or compassion.

“What’s also concerning is that this is a man with a loving family and good support network who were able to spot the signs of abuse and help him. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if he had no family.”

If you or a loved one have been affected by abuse, Slater and Gordon are here to help you with the compassion and empathy you deserve. To talk to one of our specialists, simply contact us when you're ready to take the next step.

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