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A nurse working at an Adelaide aged care home has been sacked after they allegedly covered an elderly dementia patient’s face with a pillow.

9News can reveal allegations a carer at an Eldercare facility, which we can’t identify for legal reasons, held a pillow over the face of an elderly dementia patient.

Carolanne Barkla from the Aged Rights Advocacy Service said the claims were “very concerning”.

A nurse working at an Adelaide aged care home has been sacked after they allegedly covered an elderly dementia patient's face with a pillow.
A nurse working at an Adelaide aged care home has been sacked after they allegedly covered an elderly dementia patient’s face with a pillow. (9News)

“Whilst acknowledging that the allegations are allegations at this moment, there is very much a trusted relationship between a nurse and a patient,” Ms Barkla said.

South Australia Police confirmed in a statement an investigation was now underway into the incident, which allegedly occurred on March 22.

The patient was not seriously injured.

Eldercare responded to inquiries from 9News and said that based on an internal investigation and its zero-tolerance policy, the nurse’s employment was terminated.

The incident has reignited debate over the need for CCTV inside aged care homes.

It is a cause Adelaide woman Noleen Hausler has desperately fought for six years, ever since she hid a camera inside her father’s room which captured his carer attempting to suffocate him with a napkin.

Ian Henschke from National Seniors Australia said Ms Hausler “has seen nothing happen”.

“She feels burnt out and it’s the way many people feel who work in this area,” Mr Henschke said.

In 2019, South Australia was given half a million dollars by the Federal Government to trial surveillance and monitoring in aged care facilities.

Three years on and there is still no outcome.

“We haven’t seen the results of that trial but it’s only going in a couple of state-run residential facilities so it’s certainly not what it was designed to be,” SA Best MP Frank Pangallo said.

Mr Pangallo now plans to re-introduce legislation for independently monitored cameras in aged care after failing four years ago.

But advocates say the sector is crying out for more funding in the meantime.

“We need a better selection of people who go into aged care, we need better training for people in aged care (and) we need better pay in aged care,” Mr Henschke said.

Eldercare has confirmed the alleged victim still remains in their care with the full support of the resident’s family.

Police have been unable to confirm a timeline for their investigation.

Source: 9News

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