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'It crushed our family' - granddaughter of elderly Romford abuse victim backs helpline

PUBLISHED: 11:52 23 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:18 23 June 2015

Donna and Bridget

Donna and Bridget

Archant

The granddaughter of an elderly abuse victim is urging people to speak up about the problem that "crushed" her family.

An extract of a video where Bridget Rees holds her hands up to nurse Grace Bello during her time at Mary Seacole Nursin Home.An extract of a video where Bridget Rees holds her hands up to nurse Grace Bello during her time at Mary Seacole Nursin Home.

Donna Davis, 36, was devastated after hidden camera footage planted by her family revealed 92-year-old Bridget Rees being mistreated in her care home.

Shocking footage showed the dementia sufferer being told “shut up” and “shut your mouth” and being poked in the face and head.

The carer responsible, Faderera Grace Bello, from Romford, was jailed for four months in July after admitting a charge of carer ill treatment and wilful neglect.

Bridget never recovered from the trauma before dying in May last year and Donna believes she let her nan down.

She and her family have been campaigning tirelessly for the rights of the elderly.

Now she is supporting the new 0800 032 7644 elder abuse reporting line, launched by Crimestoppers and Essex police commissioner Nick Alston in Essex.

She appeared on BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow yesterday with Crimestoppers CEO Mark Hallas to help raise awareness of it.

She said: “The emotions I had when I watched that film for the first time come flooding back to me every time I think of nan.

“I feel sick, angry and sad but, worst of all, I feel I have let her down.

“It crushed my family – we will always live with enormous guilt for putting her in a situation we thought was for the best but resulted in physical, emotional and mental abuse.

“She had been so strong all the way through it and had fought it off on her own.”

Bridget was moved to another home but died in May 2014 of pneumonia.

Donna added: “After the abuse Nan couldn’t build relationships or have conversations with other people.

“The helpline is fantastic. It gives people a means to report or query something they may otherwise keep to themselves.

“My advice is always to speak up about it. If you don’t feel your concerns are being addressed, don’t stop. You have the right to make sure that your loved one is being cared for properly.”

Donna and her family are also campaigning for CCTV to be installed in care homes and nursing homes throughout the UK.

If you fear your neighbour, a loved one or an acquaintance is suffering from abuse, call 0800 032 7644 and speak directly with one of Crimestoppers’ trained team.

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