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February 25, 2012

Margaret Suffered Abuse and Assault at Hands of her Carer (UK)

Margaret suffered abuse and assault at hands of her carer
Essex Chronicle
February 23, 2012

MARGARET Claydon, a 93-year-old dementia sufferer, was awoken by bright lights and a cold flannel roughly scraped across her face, sworn at and assaulted by a care worker in her £3,000-a-month care home.
The pensioner, who served her country in the Land Army during the Second World War, was confused and distressed when carer Angelica Mendoza woke her up at 4.45am at the Windle Court Care Home in South Woodham Ferrers.
After having her face scrubbed roughly, she told Mendoza she hated her.
Mendoza responded by grabbing her frail face, squashing her cheeks and lips together and saying: "I hate you too, bitch."
The Filipina national was found guilty of assault at a trial at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday and must do 150 hours' unpaid work in the community and pay costs of £620.
"She has been a great mum, done her bit for her country and is using all her and my dad's life savings to pay her care fees," said daughter Joanna Symons, 59, of Woodham Walter.
"You hate to put your parents in care and want to find the best possible home, and to think they are not always safe in that situation is awful. This case highlights the plight of people who are so vulnerable, especially people with dementia.

"There are more and more people now in care.
"It's an ageing population and it's time people took notice, otherwise these abuses will go on all the time.
"If they paid care workers more they would probably attract a calibre of carer to the profession. It's a tough job and it needs to be done by people with compassion.
"I am very pleased justice has been done."
Mendoza, 32, had twice skipped her court appearance before she was hauled before magistrates this week. She wore a pink tracksuit top and blue jeans and remained impassive throughout her trial.
The court heard she was a senior carer at the home, and on June 28 last year she was showing new colleague Carly Rogers the ropes over a night shift.
It was Miss Rogers' first day at work, although she had worked for 18 months at another care home, and she was so disgusted by Mendoza's abuse that she reported her to social services.
Miss Rogers was visibly nervous when she gave evidence at the trial, but afterwards she said: "I'm pleased with the result – it was daunting to put myself out there.
"I would urge anyone to report that sort of thing. People get scared and they just leave it, and new members of staff think that's how things are done, but it's not right."
Mrs Symons, who has just retired as head of careers at the University of Essex in Colchester, added: "It takes the character of someone like Carly to stick her neck out and whistle-blow.
"She was on her first shift and risked her job – it was very brave of her.
"I'm not blaming the care home – you just get the odd bad apple." Mendoza was sacked from the care home shortly after she was reported by Miss Rogers when bosses found she had fabricated records of patient check-ups she had not bothered to make.
But she had left South Woodham Ferrers and moved to Dorking in Surrey, where she was working as a carer – although she is now likely to be sacked from that job.
"It is worrying to think she was still working as a carer," said Mrs Symons.
Her daughter-in-law Daniela added: "I think what Mendoza did is really savage."
Mendoza denied assault at her trial and claimed Mrs Claydon was aggressive and abusive, but her account of the episode wavered while she was cross-examined for 20 minutes.
The magistrates decided Miss Rogers' version of events was far more consistent and believable and found Mendoza guilty after a four-hour trial.

SOURCE:     The Essex Chronicle

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