A care worker for the aged was charged on Sept. 5 with assaulting an elderly man in Sydney at a care facility for the aged—his actions caught on camera in what police call “disgraceful.”
Prakash Paudyal, 35, was charged for allegedly pulling on the 82-year-old man’s shirt and also using a shoe to hit the elderly man repeatedly.
The elderly man’s daughter, Ayda Celine, had noticed “dark, black bruising” on his body some months ago but was initially advised that he might have fallen, 9 News reported. As months went by, she suspected something was happening—she told 9 News that her father wouldn’t let her touch him, and did not leave his bedroom, or eat.
Alongside the bruising, there had been cases where her father was “sitting in a wet nappy for hours and in soaked clothes and no one has changed him,” and she had called the facility to alert them of these issues, 9 News reported.
After suspecting that the facility may be mistreating her father, who suffers from dementia, Celine decided to set up a camera that would later capture the assaults.
“I installed the cameras because of the bruising and because I didn’t trust they were looking after him,” Celine told 9 News.
Police released the footage of the incidents, which occurred Aug. 26 and Aug. 29 at Bupa Aged Care Seaforth, Sydney’s northern beaches.
It is illegal to set up a camera in an aged care facility, but the abuse captured on camera outweighs the wrongdoing, police said, ABC reported.
“To see an elderly man treated in this way is disgraceful,” Superintendent David Darcy from Northern Beaches Police Area Command said in a police release.
“These vulnerable people need the communities help to be their voice,” Darcy added.
Bupa issued a statement saying that it was “shocked and saddened” by the incident, ABC reported.
“Bupa takes the safety and wellbeing of its residents seriously and we are shocked and saddened by what has occurred at our Seaforth care home,” the statement read. “The employee in question has been dismissed, and we are cooperating fully with NSW Police.”
Paudyal has been charged with “two counts of common assault (domestic violence), and use of an offensive weapon with intent to commit indictable offence,” the police report read.
He has been granted conditional bail and is due to appear in court on Sept. 11.
Abuse of the elderly can be physical, psychological, emotional, or financial, according to Darcy.
“Elder abuse is a fairly underreported crime in New South Wales,” Detective Acting Inspector of the Northern Beaches Police Area Command Guy Magee said, ABC reported.
“Our research tells us that upward of 50,000 elderly people have suffered abuse in their lives,” Magee said.
Magee said that police encourage more victims and their families to report the abuse.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) had warned that abuse of elderly people is likely to rise.
“Increasingly, residential aged care facilities are relying on lesser-trained personal care assistants instead of registered and enrolled nurses,” AMA president, Tony Bartone said on Sept. 6, The Guardian reported.
“As Australia’s population ages, and without resourcing for enough appropriately trained staff, and education for carers and health workers to identify and prevent elder abuse, neglect and abuse of older people—whether accidental or intentional—is likely to increase.”