89-year-old suffers ‘torture’ in aged-care home

When you place a loved one in the aged-care facility, the expectation is that they will be cared for. After

When you place a loved one in the aged-care facility, the expectation is that they will be cared for.

After noticing some bruises on your 89-year-old father, Noleen Hausler took it upon herself to find the answers. Noleen’s father Clarence is suffering from end-stage dementia and is unable to walk or talk.

“I thought I wasn’t being heard, and I was suspicious of a certain staff member,” Noleen told ABC. “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.”

Noleen decided to hide a small video camera in the corner of her father’s private care room. What she captured was disgusting. In the video, carer Corey Lyle Lucas appeared to force feed Clarence violently, eat Clarence’s food, sneeze on him, flick his nose and held him down when Clarence fought back. The video also showed Corey apparently trying to suffocate Clarence with a napkin.

“I honestly didn’t know what to do at first. I thought about ringing the facility because I was scared for my father’s safety but I thought that I wouldn’t do that, and I knew that this was very serious so I went down to the Sturt police station,” Noleen told the ABC.

The carer has since been arrested, but it’s the actions of Mitcham Residential Care that has many puzzled. After the case came to light instead of offering any remorse or sympathy to Noleen and Clarence they sent Noleen a cease and desist letter warning her not to film anymore. Noleen said “”I was prepared to go to jail for whatever I did and if I’d breached whatever [Mitcham Residential Care] said I’d breached, I would be responsible for all that.” She concluded, “But to me, I had no option but to do what I did to protect my father.”

The carer was not fired from his position at Mitcham Residential Care but did resign. Mitcham Residential Care did issue this statement to ABC, “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.”

How could the rules be changed to prevent horrible actions like this happening? How could a person like this even become a carer in the first place?

  1. June Hart  

    I lost my job in a nursing home for rotting elder abuse.

    • Jan  

      What is this statement all about..” Rotting elderly abuse”.. Sounds dreadful..needs to be explained more clearly 😱

    • perhaps she meant that because she reported it she was sacked by the instigator it is quite conceivable as this has happened to others

  2. Poor old fellow, unfortunately this sort of elderly abuse can also happen in their own home by their own family members
    Coward/bully are good words to describe other human beings who resort to abuse, bullying and general nasty behaviour towards the elderly.

  3. yvonne davies  

    Unfortunately this happens very frequently in nursing homes. I have seen it many times being an ex geriatric nurse and its so hard to stop I find the best thing to do is be there for these elderly folk and care for them as best you can treat them as you would want to be treated because one day these abusers will be in the same position and they will regret the way they treated these wonderful old people give them love and dignity they deserve it

  4. Joy McNamara  

    It is so sad to see the treatment dished out to both the Dad and his very caring daughter. Maybe a camera should be in every room to stop the cowardly attacks on people who can not protect themselves.

    • Nancy  

      Excellent idea about the cameras. It would act as a deterrant and evidence.

    • Leanne  

      Cameras should be in every room, toilet, lounge area and kitchen. I have seen so much abuse in a nursing home and in a hospital towards an elderly person!

  5. De de  

    I think the cameras should be in all rooms from the beginning

    • Marilyn Jan Seib  

      It would seem to be a natural progression following so many reports of abuse being observed that authorities would move quickly toward investigation and a definite Royal Commission into this concerning scenario in our nations’ nursing care homes…hopefully there would be from that mandatory guidelines and legislation that all of these institutions have observation cameras in every area of their facilities…this seems to me an obvious action to protect the very vulnerable “our aged loved ones”

  6. Sue montebello  

    I have worked in aged care for over 15yrs and if l thought one of my co workers was doing something like this l would report them straight away . Nobody should have to endure this kind of behaviour , The elderly should be treated with respect and dignity. I have worked in dementia ward for over 12yrs, l treat my residents with the same care l would my mother and father,

  7. It came to point where I had to put my mother into a nursing home because I was given a government unit to live in, and as I was the only one out of her 3 children who was caring for her at the time. I mad the decision to put her into a home, once she was in there the abuse started and it escalated to the point where on one of my visits I was able to get to the bottom of the problem. There were two particular carers who were bulling here and a couple of others, the day I found out was the day that the board of the Nursing was meeting so not wasting time I went and saw the duty sister in charge and made a complaint, which went straight to the board meeting and things were put in place to immediately stop the bulling In the mean time my mother did not want to make a fuss about it, I said to her to bad i have and this will stop immediately, and it did 3 months later after some investigation the 2 staff members were sacked. So mum was able to live her last few years in peace and with no bullying.

  8. glenis  

    what does JUNE HART mean..”rotting elder abuse ?”

  9. Jennie  

    This is so sad. Elderly people have served their dues to society and deserve respect at the end no matter their situation. Family are often afraid to complain for fear it will be taken out on their loved ones in care. No one wants to end their days in care but unfortunately so many do and don’t deserve to be treated this way. I am very aware some can be difficult to deal with at this stage but they are still human beings and often unaware of their behaviour. Don’t take a job in aged care if you don’t care????!!!!!

  10. My terminally ill husband died in a nursing home (also in South Australia) – could not cite abuse, but certainly neglect and not respecting client and family wishes…..I “got” them on four counts after his death. My advice is, if you have a loved one in a Nursing Home, if you have even the slightest suspicion that things aren’t quite right, keep a diary – dates, names and observations.

  11. Gezina Ponsen  

    I worked in a nursing on and of for over fifteen years. I would never have done this sort of thing. There were times when you as the nurse would get kick, pinched, punched and spat at. It was your job and had to put up with this as part of your work!!!

    • Elizabeth Dyer  

      Defiantly, a camera should be put in all rooms all the time , this goes on all the time .

  12. Cathy Howat  

    I had to report a Charge Nurse at the Peter James Centre here in Melbourne when working as an agency nurse on their psycho geriatric ward one night, She was physically abusive to an elderly demented man. She was sacked

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