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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tens of thousands of vulnerable old people are suffering appalling abuse in homes for the elderly, experts are warning.

Thousands of elderly abused in care homes

Extract from the Telegraph:

"The first ever audit of calls to England's social care watchdog shows that more than 1,000 were made in just six months by people who suspected their relations or friends were being abused by care workers.

Social services chiefs estimate that a further 60,000 "alert calls" are made directly to local councils every year.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) has uncovered homes where residents were routinely tied to their beds and chairs, locked up or dragged around by their hair. Some were refused food to punish "bad behaviour", denied trips to the lavatory or stolen from by staff."

"The audit was disclosed by the CSCI as it prepared to publish, on Wednesday, its first guide to all 4,000 residential homes in England for the elderly and disabled, giving each a star rating so that relations can compare factors such as the use of sedatives, staff training, and social activities.

The inspectorate has already said 248 homes do not meet basic safety standards. Investigations have revealed a woman of 85 who had her fingernails ripped off by a care worker, a 78‑year‑old covered in cigarette burns, and a number of thefts of pensions by "home helps"."

"Gary Fitzgerald, chief executive of the charity Action on Elder Abuse, said: "If you include abuse carried out by relatives and friends, studies suggest there could be 500,000 cases each year across Britain.""