Disturbing footage has been released of a care worker mocking and verbally abusing an elderly man with dementia at a care home in Lincolnshire. The care worker herself is the one who filmed the incident, raising the horrible question: did she think her unflinching harassment was amusing?
Seeing an innocent person verbally abused, especially when they can’t defend themselves or really understand what’s going on, is hard to stomach. The woman’s behavior is unacceptable and deeply saddening. That anyone would think this type of behavior is anything other than verbal abuse is unfathomable.
Her comments are even more troubling because of her cheerful tone of voice. She hops from topic to topic, casually telling him he’s gay in one breath and then accusing him of unwanted sexual advances against a woman in the next. The jovial and lighthearted way she zips down her line of vulgar questions is difficult to listen to. It seems like this is all a joke to her. We don’t know her identity, or even the facility she worked at, but from this brief clip it seems like she gains pleasure out of taunting him.
When the man says that he had missed someone so much, he “could have eaten her,” the woman jumps on it.
“Would you like to eat me?” she asks. When he says no, she feigns insult. “Why not? I’m nice.”
She repeats “I’m nice” multiple times before abruptly switching the subject, telling him he should sing a song about how horrible people are. “I hate people. I hate people…” she prompts.
“I’m not singing that song,” he says.
“People are despicable creatures,” she sings.
She tells him that he should sing it because Jeremy Corbyn — a British politician — “says you’ve got to.”
From there, she launches into her next topic, telling him he has gay tendencies. Then she flips it around on him when he says he doesn’t, and claims that he made unwanted sexual advances against a woman earlier.
She threatens to take his walking stick, to dress him as a woman, and to open the curtains and the window.
She asks if he has Bermuda shorts, which he responds he does not, and then she says, “I forgot, you like wearing frilly dresses, don’t you?” When he says he doesn’t want to wear a frilly dress, she asks, “What about frilly knickers?” When he rejects that, she says, “What about a bow in your head?” After that, “A curler?”
It’s a bizarre and loathsome conversation to watch.
The man is clearly upset and rattled by her comments, but as he denies one claim or line of questioning, she’s already throwing out another, twisting his words around, and using his confusion against him.
He becomes agitated and continues to deny what she’s saying, but she manipulates his responses, continually prompting, “Why?” or “Why not?” in a sweet tone before offering another unwanted and untrue comment instead. For each thing she throws at him, she prompts him to repeat his answer or elaborate, then she herself elaborates in another direction.
At the end of the footage, he asks, heartbreakingly, “Can I go then?”
The footage was allegedly filmed in May of 2018. Lincolnshire County Council has since sent safeguarding teams to the facility to help ensure the residents’ safety.
In addition, the Lincolnshire Police are investigating the issue. According to them, the woman in the video has voluntarily submitted to a police interview.
“No one has been arrested and our investigation is ongoing,” a Lincolnshire Police spokesperson said.
The Alzheimer’s Society services manager for Lincolnshire, Marie Betts, had this to say:
“People with dementia are among the most vulnerable in society and any abuse like this is completely abhorrent and unacceptable. Seventy per cent of people in care homes are living with dementia, and they should be able to do so without fear, safe in the knowledge they will be well looked after.
“We know that most staff care deeply about the people they support, but good care homes are undermined when people are abused. Health and social care professionals should have all the tools and support required to provide high-quality, person-centred care to people with dementia that maintains their dignity and quality of life.”
Warning: This video contains disturbing language and verbal abuse.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.