A carer has quit her job with a home care agency in Cumbria over what she describes as “unacceptable” treatment of elderly clients.

Helen Caruana, 48, from Wigton, walked out of a job she loved at Ralle Health Limited in September days after the sacking of a staff member accused of mistreating patients.

Mrs Caruana says she reported arriving at a client’s home in April last year and found the woman “very distressed” after being visited by one of the company’s carers three hours previously.

Mrs Caruana said: “She told me she didn’t want that lady back in her house again. She didn’t like her. She never liked her and was scared of her.”

It was then that Mrs Caruana discovered that “several” clients or families of clients had requested for this member of staff not to be sent to their homes.

Elderly person suffering abuse in home
Elderly people can suffer abuse in their own homes

Cassie Crawford, 41, whose Grandfather was the subject of alleged abuse, said: “He is the kindest sweetest, most patient man I’ve ever known. He’s 93 years old and suffers from Alzheimer’s.

“I feel so let down by the agency. It’s hard to describe how awful It is.”

Ralle Health Limited were inspected by the Care Quality Commission in May this year and were rated ‘good’ with the report concluding that “people were safe receiving support from this service.”

Although Mrs Caruana acknowledges that these incidents were carried out by “one bad apple” she says the way the management dealt with the issue is “very very disappointing”.

Statistics gathered by Age UK state that approximately 342,000 older people living in private households in the UK are abused each year and that every hour over 50 older people are neglected or abused in their own homes by family members, friends, neighbours or care workers.

Mrs Caruana said: “When you’re working with very vulnerable people you are like an extended member of the family. They trust you implicit and you have to take that on board.”

Linda Wilson, the manager of Ralle Health limited, confirmed the member of staff had been dismissed but provided no further comment.

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