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Outcry over seniors stripped of dignity

2015.06.01
13871 13871

APRIVATE elderly home has sparked an uproar for stripping residents of their dignity after a dozen women were left naked on a balcony in full view of the neighbourhood.

Staff of a Cambridge Nursing Home (劍橋護老院) branch in Tai Po (大埔), which has a capacity of 260 people, were filmed leaving 12 fully or partially naked female residents over a span of two hours as they waited for a shower.

The balcony is visible to residents of surrounding high-rises.

The home said it will fire staff responsible for the incident and penalise others. It also apologised to the residents, their families and the public.

The Social Welfare Department (社會福利署) deplored the staff’s actions as unacceptable and has started an investigation, a spokesman said. It did not rule out revoking the home’s licence.

A police spokesman said the Regional Crime Unit (重案組) of Tai Po is looking into the case.

Social service veterans condemned the incident, urging the department to prosecute the home and step up legal protection of the elderly.

Grace Chan Man-yee (陳文宜), head of elderly services at the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (香港 社會服務聯會), said it was a serious violation of government guidelines.

“There are government guidelines on bathing that say the elderly should be shielded from public view,” she said.

A spokesman of the Cambridge Nursing Home chain admitted on a radio programme that the incident occurred, but said the practice had been stopped last month.

(The Standard, 27 May 2015)

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