Daughter catches care worker trying to suffocate father after hiding camera

A care worker was caught placing a cloth over an elderly man’s mouth and assaulting him.

Noleen Hausler had become concerned for her 89-year-old father Clarence, and placed a hidden camera in his room to check that everything was okay.

What she found shocked her. The footage showed Corey Lucas suffocating her elderly father by placing a napkin over his mouth and nose, as well as jabbing food into his mouth.

Lucas has been jailed for the assault after footage was passed to police.

Ms Hauser, who is a nurse, said: ‘Being confronted with the visual images, I went into a state of shock and total concern for Father.

‘My heart was racing (and) my hands were shaking.’

The abuse was filmed in September 2015 at Mitcham Residential Care Facility in Adelaide, operated by Japara Healthcare.

Ms Hauser gave evidence at a hearing into what happened at the aged care royal commission in Perth on Monday, the Daily Mail reports.

‘I had no idea that someone could possibly do that,’ she said. ‘I felt for dad in the fact that I didn’t protect him sufficiently.’

The commission is examining whether Japara prioritised its own corporate interests and reputation over person-centred care.

Ms Hausler, whose father died in January 2017, said while some staff were dedicated and compassionate, Japara had a ‘profit-driven attitude’.

She told reporters outside the hearing that it was a ‘no brainer’ to have CCTV in rooms to make sure people were protected.

‘(It’s) very much a widespread problem in the sector … it happens all behind closed doors,” she said.

‘These are the most vulnerable people … they can’t speak, they can’t raise the alarm.”

In June 2016 Lucas admitted two counts of aggravated assault. He resigned from the company and was given a ten month jail sentence.