A nursing home left elderly residents under its care naked and exposed to public view on a balcony, according to a Ming Pao report.
Families and residents have described it as “gross violation to the elderly”.
Ming Pao investigated after receiving complaints from locals.
Photos show wheelchair-bound residents pushed onto a terrace, where their trousers were removed so that they could relieve themselves, after which they were stripped naked before getting bathed.
Several females were seen attempting to cover their naked bodies with their hands, with staff sometimes forcefully removing their clothing, according to the report.
The terrace is in clear view of the residential buildings that surround the nursing home.
The Tai Po Cambridge Nursing Home is a facility that caters to highly dependent elderly people with severe disabilities. A place in the facility, which has a maximum capacity of 263 residents, costs approximately HKD11,000.
The home has received multiple warnings for this practice from the authorities in the past but has never been prosecuted.
A resident from the area told Ming Pao that the situation has persisted for several years. She said she has witnessed elderly people being exposed in the summer heat for hours without adequate care.
Residents were only wearing underwear or thin jackets while waiting to be showered during the winter, she added.
“It’s heartbreaking that the old people are losing their dignity so that the staff can make their jobs easier”, she said.
‘Why won’t you die?’
Another Ming Pao report revealed that the facility is understaffed and that some employees exhibit bad attitudes.
A family member of a resident claimed she witnessed an elderly person being verbally abused by a staff member after accidentally spilling some water.
“You can’t even drink water properly. Why won’t you die?”, the staff member allegedly said.
The report also says the facility’s corridors were blocked with multiple objects and basic services were inadequate during that time.
‘Undermining the dignity of the elderly’
The founder of the nursing home, Luk Ai-ling, said she has not received complaints but admitted that the incidents undermine elderly people’s dignity, reports Ming Pao.
She added that similar incidents were common a decade ago but such behaviour would not be tolerated on her premises.
“There will be bad karma if you mistreat old people”, she asserted.
A statement issued by the nursing home said an employee has been dismissed for violating the residents, reports Apple Daily.
It also stressed that the employment contract disallows, “public exposure of residents” and that residents of different genders, “must be segregated”.
The institution has vowed to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
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