A paid helper seen abusing an elderly woman in a disturbing video on social media, has been fired and the matter reported to police.
The owner of Roseville Home For The Elderly in Christ Church Pamela Hill told Barbados TODAY that she sacked Arielle King, as well as a cook who had witnessed the incident and had laughed while 84-year-old Jasmin Hall was being abused but had taken no action to protect the victim.
The incident is believed to have taken place about two weeks ago but the video exploded on social media over the weekend.
The nearly two-minute-long video shows King, who had been employed at the home since December 15 last year, beating the elderly woman with a shoe, kicking her occasionally, while firing insults at her, as the octogenarian dragged herself on the floor. King also hit the helpless Hall on her head with a book.
“Don’t hit me, don’t hit me, don’t hit me,” Hall can be heard saying as she pleaded for mercy.
“Oh my God; have mercy, Lord Jesus,” she prayed, as the woman in her 30’s continued her abuse.
Hill told Barbados TODAY that when she was shown the video about two weeks ago by the employee who recorded it, she immediately notified all relevant authorities, seeking advice on how the matter should be handled.
“That is total abuse. That is ridiculous. I could not believe what I was seeing. I do not condone any type of abuse in my home or anywhere else,” she insisted.
On the verge of tears, an emotional Hill said she was shattered by the incident, which has placed the home she has owned for 16 years under public scrutiny.
Speaking from her office, Hill said the nurse appeared to be diligent, caring and hardworking when she joined the team. A contrite Hill added that King had been held in such high regard that she had even begun to train the young woman to manage the facility.
Imagine her surprise, she said, when she saw the carer abusing the woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
“After it [the video] was sent to me I felt so bad and I sent the video to the nurse that did it. I said to her ‘very disturbing’. She sent me back a message saying ‘true’. I said to her, ‘I am very disappointed in all of you’.
“She said, ‘what have we done?’ I said, ‘this is not the way you do things, you do not know where this is going to end up’. I had made up in my mind then I was going to report her. She said, ‘sorry, well fire me’. I say this woman could only be a psycho,” Hill reported as she related her conversation with King.
Hill said the ordeal had taught her a valuable lesson that she must never hastily hire a helper, regardless of how desperately she needed one, without first carrying out a thorough background check.
An active member of the Barbados Elderly Care Association, Hill said the association would compile a list of abusive carers to help keep people like King away from the elderly.
“It is sad to see that people go and do the care of the elderly course, come into a setting, show you a good face and as you swing your back it is something else. I would never believe in all my life that particular nurse would have done that.
Even though I feel bad because it is my home, the footage tells me that we as home owners can’t trust nobody,” Hill added.
The woman spoke passionately about her love for the elderly, indicating that her father Selby Linton, 87, and her mother Vida, 84, were still alive. She said she hoped the incident would not force her facility, which is home to 14 patients, to shut down.
“To take up something and hit the person, telling them all the insults, is total abuse. I am not going to sit down and take that. I am not going to shove it under the carpet or I would have kept the video and not send it anyway. But I wasn’t looking for it to blow out of control like this,” Hill said, as she wiped tears from her eyes.
Meanwhile, Hall’s daughter Barbara Goddard told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that she felt shattered and numb as she watched her mother being abused, but was now simply angry.
“I will be seeing this through to the end, however long the end takes. The police [officer] asked me what I would like to do and I said to him, ‘legally or illegally?’ But I have filed charges for prosecution and the police [are] going through the process. I do hope that the court does not say it as a case of just fining her for a few dollars.
“I really do not need her money, my mother does not need her money; I would like that she spends some time sitting down in jail and then maybe she might have some time to reflect,” Goddard said.
She said her mum had been at the home for just over three years and she had never seen any signs of abuse, noting that Hill had shown the elderly woman immense care and kindness.
She said she was also aware that the owner of the home was quick to fire any employee who was not performing up to standard.
On that note, Goddard, a businesswoman and a volunteer counsellor to domestic violence victims, gave a vote of confidence to the nursing home.
“I am not pulling her out because of what one nurse has done. If the home was in a bad state, my mom would not have been there at that length of time. It took me a while to find a home for my mom because I went around looking,” Goddard said.