Images and video footage showing the appalling treatment of dementia sufferer Freda Jobson whilst in care made national television and newspaper headlines, shocking families across the country earlier this month.
Her carers at Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home in Beverley, East Yorkshire, were sentenced in court having being caught on camera mocking and taunting her as she lay in her bed, after her family set up a secret spy camera in her room.
Pictures of her hip, buttock and heel, taken by her worried family, showed she had also suffered the worst level of bed sores whilst in care – so bad that some had around 85 per cent dead tissue and were described by her family as ‘dripping in blood’ and like ‘a piece of raw meat’, and as ‘amongst the worst ever seen’ by an expert injury lawyer.
The video footage and pictures were released by Mrs Jobson’s family in a bid to raise awareness of poor care of the elderly and vulnerable in care homes, calling for people to sign a petition for CCTV in all care homes.
And today, after thousands of people supported their call and signed the petition, the family has issued a very different picture of Mrs Jobson, who 14 months after leaving the home, is now looking much healthier and happier, at the age of 85.
They have thanked people for their support and now appealing for thousands more to sign the petition for CCTV in Care Homes ahead of its closure next Thursday, June 2.
“We have been overwhelmed by the many kind well wishes of people who were appalled by what had happened to my mother in care, but we were also struck by the number of people who said they were also aware of poor care of the elderly in care across the country,” said Mrs Jobson’s daughter Maddy, 51.
“Many many people asked us how my mother is doing now and how she has recovered, and we are glad to say that she is doing very well, better than we could ever have hoped when we took her from the home.”
Mrs Jobson was moved to Beverley Community Hospital in East Yorkshire, where her pressure sores have now healed, she has a healthy appetite, and Maddy says she is clearly happy.
“Good care pays, and my mum’s treatment is the perfect example of that,” she said.
“I’ve said previously that if we’d not put that camera in the care home when we did, I am convinced she would have died within weeks. She was miserable, afraid, in pain and not eating anything.
“Now she is completely different. The staff at the community hospital have been wonderful. They sit down with her and chat to her and it is really obvious that they care. I visit mum every day and feed her at lunchtime as I enjoy it and it helps the staff, but I can leave my mum feeling really happy and confident that she is being cared for lovingly.”
Maddy says that her mother, who dropped to just four stone when in care, now enjoys three meals a day, which she always finishes.
She said: “She is eating really well and has a really good appetite now. She has porridge in a morning with syrup, a three-course meal at lunch which includes mashed meat, vegetables and gravy for her main course and a yoghurt for pudding, and then soup at tea-time followed by an Angel Delight. She eats it all.
“She’ll never really be able to gain weight, but her face has filled out again and she just looks much healthier and happier. We’re just really happy with how she has progressed, and how people have supported the campaign. We needs lots more to sign now though to make the biggest impact possible.”
Hudgell Solicitors has been calling for CCTV to be made compulsory in all care and residential homes as part of its ‘Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly’ (LOVE) campaign, aimed at ensuring the elderly and vulnerable are loved, respected, protected and cared for with dignity at all times.
Close to 12,000 people have signed the petition currently, a number which will require the Government to provide an official response and update on any relevant parliamentary processes that are ongoing. Should the petition reach 100,000, the matter of CCTV could be forced onto the agenda at Whitehall.
Solicitor Lauren Dale, a medical negligence specialists at Hudgell Solicitors who is representing the family, said: “We have seen great support for our call for CCTV systems in all care homes, but sadly, it takes cases such as this one to make people sit up and listen.
“Interestingly, we have received many comments from people who have worked within the care industry and have been passionate about providing the very best care. Many of these people have said that whilst CCTV is not something they have wanted, they can now see the need for change.
“As a firm we support many families who have been through very similar distressing times when the care of one of their loved ones has not only fallen below that expected, but crossed the line to neglect and abuse.
“At present, families have no option and when they have concerns, and an increasing number are turning to secret filming to find out what happens when they leave their loved ones in the care of others. As we have seen, many have uncovered shocking care.
“We believe having CCTV in private rooms should be an option for families, as it would give residents better protection, give families extra peace of mind when putting loved ones in carer, and would also protect the care homes and care workers themselves from any malicious claims against them.”