Woman charged after rest home assault

Woman charged after rest home assault

A woman has been charged with assault after an elderly man with dementia at a rest home in Hamilton was slapped by his carer.

The man was also not administered his pills or taken for walks.

The family of 86-year-old Piri Hemi put a hidden camera in his room after he became withdrawn, stopped whistling, singing and started calling himself dumb.

His daughter-in-law, Priscilla Hemi, says they were told multiple times to leave The Cascades rest home in Hamilton when they confronted management about it.

"I was spiteful," she says. "I was full of anger knowing that someone had put fear into his life and brought anger into ours. It was a very distraught moment and time in our lives.

"I was having to deal with it, but I was dealing with it the wrong way. My own beautiful spirit was getting tarnished by it because I was fuming with anger."

She says they want Cascades to be held accountable for the way Piri was treated, including not telling them about a fall he had.

His son, Allan Hemi, says this sparked serious concerns as to what was happening to his father behind closed doors.

"His pills weren't being administered and we'd bring it up to the management, and she'd say she'd get back to us and she'd never get back to us.

"They were supposed to be walked every day. I took the chart to the manager and he hadn't been walked for weeks.

"We had a bit of a talk with our niece and our family and we decided the best thing was to get somebody to watch him. So we got a camera."

Piri was once an avid runner and gun cricketer. His family want his mana restored.

"I would sing to him to help remind him of his identity - give him back beautiful nature - and I would do it all the time," says Priscilla.

The Hemis say most of the staff at Cascades treated Piri like a king, but they want an apology and reimbursement for the period of substandard care.

They're just pleased to have him home and take every opportunity to remind him that everything is kapai.

The woman concerned has been dismissed and the Waikato District Health Board says the actions were "unacceptable".

She will appear in Hamilton District Court on Thursday.

Waikato District Health Board is ordering The Cascades rest home to complete a review of patient history.