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Woman guilty of Sydney aged care assault

A Sydney aged-care employee who assaulted a vulnerable resident with dementia was caught when a concerned co-worker put a camera in the victim’s room.

Dana Maree Gray faced Burwood Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of common assault against a female resident of the North Epping home where Gray worked in 2017.

According to an agreed statement of facts tendered in court, footage of the attack at The Poplars shows Gray undressing the 85-year-old woman aggressively, slapping her repeatedly and swinging at her face twice with a rubbish bag.

As Gray puts a nightgown on the woman, she uses it to pull at her neck before grabbing her hair and dragging her head from left to right.

The resident sobbed, screamed and was in clear distress during the incident, the facts reveal.

Afterwards, Gray left her bed in such a high position that she couldn’t access it to sit or lie down “for a number of hours”.

The facts say Gray, now 59, had worked in the dementia unit at The Poplars for more than three years at the time of the assault.

The footage was recorded by a male employee who worked with her and feared for the safety of residents.

According to the facts, he’d shared his concerns with another co-worker and they decided to collect evidence before making a formal complaint.

The man used a GoPro linked to his phone to record the assault – activating the camera as Gray walked towards the victim’s room.

Gray’s case on Tuesday was adjourned until May with her lawyer indicating he would apply for it to be dealt with under section 32 of the Mental Health Act.

The section allows a magistrate to dismiss charges, either conditionally or unconditionally, for people with mental health disorders and intellectual disability.

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5 comments

  1. The management needs to be charged for allowing a care giver with mental health issues to have contact with residents

  2. AIN/Advocate for our Elderly

    Are you kidding me ?!! So she’s going to play the ‘Mental Health” card now that she has been caught.
    You’re an absolute disgrace. I hope you get what you deserve.

  3. The Aged Care crisis is just on the verge of tipping over.
    With all the changes in the Aged care reforms happening we are still not getting it right.
    It all boils down to dollars.
    Consumers who do not have enough money for the high end aged care facilities are being subjected to these nursing homes that are understaffed and lack the time and effort and knowledge to fulfill the “Quality Regulations”.
    Spot checks are simply not enough anymore.Something else needs to be done and unfortunately it will mean that the Government will need to make a decision to close these nursing homes and redirect the persons in them elsewhere viable ASAP.

  4. It is awful that another worker felt they had to use a camera to evidence that abuse & assault was taking place on an innocent and vulnerable person. Are they not listened to by the hierarchy of this facility? Who an earth has been checking the daily skin integrity status of the residents? Who has been measuring changes in normal behavior in the residents? Elder abuse is a MANDATORY REPORTING area, and every good staff/management know that the longer it goes on before it is reported, identified or even suspected the longer the victims of it must endure this awful behavior. This facility management and the clinical staff (nurses) are also negligent in the very basic of daily assessment of residents. I would also surmise that none of the staff have been appraised since they were employed because if they had of been the outcomes of the appraisal would have identified or evidenced poor practice, poor attitudes and in this case I would believe basic skills gaps areas. In this case I also believe so many complaisant people involved should all be ashamed. Collectively they have all let this resident down and the family with extremely poor processes. No doubt there will be more that have not been evidenced yet. Take this facilities accreditation from them and implement re education for all areas before reconsidering they have any license to take new residents in please

  5. The management should be charged allowing such an incident to happen at their facility.
    No wonder elderly persons do not want to go to a nursing home facility. The aged are powerless against the people who are looking after them and it appears that most seem untrained in aged care. Good work by staff who were concerned to bring this staff member to justice.

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