A CARE home worker put her hands over a dementia sufferer’s mouth to shut him up, a court heard.
Jade Kilgariff, 20, who worked at Kingsland Care Home in Shoreham, is accused of mistreating vascular dementia sufferer 88-year-old Clifford Moore.
The senior care worker denies the charge of neglect.
The court heard two of her colleagues reported Kilgariff, after being shocked by her behaviour towards Mr Moore last year, including putting a sheet over his face and placing a pillow on his head.
The offences are supposed to have occurred when Mr Moore, who was unable to talk and often groaned, was being put to bed using a hoist.
He found it distressing and would often shout.
Opening the trial prosecuting, James Lofthouse, told the court: “We say Kilgariff was a young woman who on a number of occasions ill-treated Mr Moore.
“His apparent reaction and the reaction from of her colleagues, was concerning enough for them to bring it to the attention of the manager.
“He was very vulnerable and she knew that. There are proper approaches to take. She shouldn’t have done as she did on a number of occasions is place a sheet or pillow over the his face or physically hold hand across his mouth.
“You need to be satisfied it happened and whether it amounted to ill-treatment.”
Giving evidence, former colleague care worker Sophie Humphrey, said she witnessed Kilgariff mistreat Mr Moore two occasions.
Describing the first incident she witnessed she told the court: “He was agitated and she put a sheet over his mouth to stop him from shouting. It stopped him for a couple of seconds.
“He was shocked, quiet and scared. You could see it in his face. I took the sheet straight of his mouth and reassured him.
“She said nothing. I was shocked, as I had not been there very long and didn’t feel confident enough to say anything at the time. She was a senior carer.
“I looked at my colleague in the room, who was also in shock.”
Talking about the second incident Ms Humphrey, which took place in October, she said: “After taking him out of the sling and rolling him onto the bed, he became agitated. I fixed a sheet, and I looked up and saw a pillow on his face.
“I removed the pillow very quickly and turned around at looked at Kilgariff and said ‘You can not do that Jade. That is classed as abuse. if you get caught you will be in s**t’.”
“She was quite shocked and that I said something, and she was embarrassed and went red.
“I didn’t see her place the pillow, but were the only two in the room.”
She then said she wrote a letter to alert the manager of the care home.
Kilgariff, Wilmot Road, Shoreham, denies on charge of ill-treating a person in her care who lacked mental-capacity.
The trial continues.
Source: The Argus