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May 28, 2012

Nurse Kicks Elderly Dementia Patient in the Head (AUSTRALIA)

 Nurse kicks elderly dementia patient in the head
By Anthea Cannon
May 26th, 2012

A GEELONG nurse who kicked a dementia patient in the head deserves to lose his job and be financially crippled, a magistrate has said.
Paul Elgas, formerly of Pakington St, Geelong West, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates' Court to unlawful assault and assault by kicking after losing his temper with a 74-year-old dementia patient he was caring for at Costa House St Laurence, in Lara, over June 25 and 26 last year.
Magistrate Ann McGarvie said it was a "sickening example of elder abuse" and imposed a $2000 fine and a conviction, which will prohibit him from re-registering as a nurse.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable David Vanderpol told the court Elgas had forcibly thrown the elderly patient onto a couch before placing a chair beside the couch and putting his feet on the armrest next to the victim's head.
He then used his foot to tap her on the head twice when she attempted to get up and finally kicked her in the head to stop her moving.
The incident was captured on CCTV and Elgas resigned after charges were laid.
Bill Sizeland, for Elgas, said his client had 15 years experience in the industry and was remorseful.
"He later put the resident to bed and sat with her and apologised and attempted to comfort her," Mr Sizeland said.
Elgas gave evidence he struggled to support his sick wife and child and their two other children after their home was repossessed and he could only get casual supermarket work.
"This has wrecked my whole life, my career, my kids' education. I became bankrupt," he said.
"I'm normally a gentle, meek and mild man."
Elgas agreed he had dealt with many high-needs dementia patients before but said he was dealing with personal stresses and lack of workplace support at the time.
He said he had undergone counselling to deal with aggression.
Magistrate McGarvie said she did not believe the kick was an accident.
"She is a helpless, frail, old human being. You are in a position of trust, you are paid to care for her," she said. "The only blessing I can see is her dementia might make her forget that night.
"It has had a devastating impact as it should, I'm sure it won't happen again because you've already suffered."

SOURCE:      The Geelong Advertiser, Australia

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