An elderly man who is paralysed with Motor Neurones Disease was abused by a care worker who dragged him out of bed and pulled him across the floor while shouting at him to stand up.
Eighty-year-old David Taylor, who is unable to speak, lost skin on his hands and was left with bruising on his body after the incident at a care home in Greater Manchester.
The retired builder’s wife Linda, 74, says the abuse only came to light after family members heard a staff member at Langfield Nursing and Residential Home in Middleton shouting at a lady with dementia.
David, has recently settled a civil case against the home with assistance from his wife Linda.
Linda said: “Dave had only been there nine to ten days. His sister and her husband were visiting him and they heard this lady being shouted at by a care worker. His sister said to Dave: “Can you hear that?” He pointed at himself and she asked had they done that to him. The staff had put his light writer that he uses to communicate out of his reach but when his sister found it he explained what had happened. His chest was all blistered as well as they’d left him with a hot cup of tea. He can’t hold anything for long and had dropped it on himself.”
Mrs Taylor said the attack was particularly upsetting as it was the first time she’d left her husband of 56 years to have a much-needed rest. David has suffered with the rare condition that affects the brain and nerves and causes muscles wasting, for 21 years.
She added: “The reason he went in was because a family member had just died and I had just got over bowel cancer – I’d had Radiotherapy, major surgery and Chemotherapy. My sons wanted me to have a break so I’d gone to Scarborough with a friend.
“I’ve been looking after Dave myself for over 20 years. When he was diagnosed with Motor Neurones Disease, they gave him two to five years but he’s done really well. Even when I was having my cancer treatment and Dave had some respite care I would go to the home he was staying in every day with my chemo strapped around my waist – I shouldn’t have gone because I could’ve got an infection but I didn’t want to leave him. It’s really upset me that this happened when I did leave him – a great man was treated like a piece of dirt.”
The retired machinist and mum-of-two says family members also noticed that her husband hadn’t been bathed or showered the whole time he was in the home and that he had been put back to bed after using the toilet without being wiped. David’s sister had also found her brother slumped in the bottom of the bed with his legs bent and only a quilt cover with no quilt inside for warmth covering him.
Linda added: “I stopped my holiday early to come in to get Dave and when I went in, all his bruises were turning yellow. They would have disappeared if I would have stayed away for the full two weeks. He was in a real mess when I saw him, I was so annoyed.
“When I was there, the nurse who had dragged him walked past. Dave pointed at her and I confronted her and said I believed she’d abused my husband. I said to her: “Have a go at me.”
“I was trying to get him dressed to go home and he was crying saying “Don’t get me dressed – just take me home.
“The nurse who had come to our house to reassure me that Dave would be fine at the home before I’d decided to go away came in and asked why I was taking him home. She said: “Mrs Taylor, we all make mistakes.”
“I said: “A mistake to me is putting my husband’s slippers on the wrong feet not dragging him across the floor like a rag doll.” The home also told me they’d reported the incident to Social Services but I spoke to somebody from Social Services afterwards and they said they hadn’t been informed. It deserves to be closed down.”
Kim Harrison, who specialises in abuse cases at Slater and Gordon Lawyers, represented Mr Taylor in a civil case against St Andrews Care GRP Limited who ran the home at the time but no longer do. Liability was not admitted but the matter settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
She said: “Mr Taylor was admitted to Langfield Nursing and Residential Home on the understanding that they would care for him while his wife took a much-needed break. Not only did they fail to care for him but they abused him and caused him harm. They treated an elderly vulnerable man who had worked all his life with no dignity or compassion.
“What’s also concerning is that this is a man with a loving family and good support network who were able to spot the signs of abuse and help him. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if he had no family.”