A rest home carer who was convicted of assault for slapping and dragging an elderly dementia patient could face further legal action.

Sonali Ananta Deo, 23, was caught manhandling and slapping Piri Hemi in 2016 after Hemi's family had a camera installed in his room.

The Hemis were concerned about the care the 86-year-old was receiving at the Cascades Retirement Resort in Hamilton.

Rest home caregiver Sonali Ananta Deo was convicted of assault after she was caught slapping Piri Hemi, front left. Hemi is pictured with (L-R) Betty, Allan and Priscilla Hemi. Photo / Belinda Feek
Rest home caregiver Sonali Ananta Deo was convicted of assault after she was caught slapping Piri Hemi, front left. Hemi is pictured with (L-R) Betty, Allan and Priscilla Hemi. Photo / Belinda Feek

They installed the camera after several incidents where Hemi fell over and hurt himself when staff were not watching him.

Advertisement

READ MORE
Caregiver charged with assault appears in court
Hamilton caregiver admits assaulting elderly man
Hamilton caregiver convicted for assaulting elderly resident

Deo was filmed in June 2016 removing Hemi's bedclothes and throwing them on the floor, slapping his hip and head and dragging him roughly across the bed.

Hemi died in January 2017.

At Deo's sentencing in the Hamilton District Court in March last year, Judge Kim Saunders did not accept Deo's defence that her inexperience and lack of training led to her actions.

Deo was convicted of assault but discharged without penalty.

The Health and Disability Commission released a decision today finding that Deo had breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

Her actions toward Hemi, "an elderly and vulnerable individual, amounted to a very serious departure from fundamental ethical and legal standards".

Deputy commissioner Rose Wall said it was plainly unprofessional to physically assault a patient.

The healthcare assistant has been referred to the Director of Proceedings, who has the power to take disciplinary action including legal proceedings in the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and Human Rights Review Tribunal.

READ MORE
Vulnerable elderly restrained in chairs all day: documents
Lonely New Zealand: A third of elderly spend their days alone
Rest home death 'can't be in vain' - family call for changes

The commission also found Cascades also breached the code by failing to provide services to Hemi with reasonable care and skill including in falls prevention, monitoring and communication with family.

The rest home has acted on a number of recommendations from the commission including improving its training on challenging behaviour, abuse and stress management.

Both the rest home and Deo have apologised to the family.