Two employees of a social center in Kirchberg am Wechsel and a manager have had to answer to the judge in Wiener Neustadt since Monday. They reject the bad allegations, but admit that during Corona they were at times “overwhelmed” with the tasks and staff were constantly being sought. The trial will show whether this alone justifies the alleged abuses.
Nursing is in crisis and this is becoming a disaster for all those people who need it. The process of two employees at the Kirchberg am Wechsel social center (Lower Austria) and a SeneCura manager, which started on Monday in Wiener Neustadt, shows how staff shortages can affect it lapses long. It ranges from dinner not being served to not receiving medical treatment and restrictions on freedom: “When there were more falls, we used the seat pants. If this was necessary for more than 24 hours, a doctor ordered it,” said the first accused in a soft voice. Like the co-defendants, the 49-year-old pleaded not guilty. According to the indictment, an outbreak of itch mites also went untreated for months, causing those affected to “suffer from burning skin and itching”. “The public prosecutor’s office should have investigated more intensively. Even the doctor ruled out itch mites at first,” Nikolaus Mitrovits, defense counsel for the second accused, dismisses the accusation. When the suspicion arose, action was taken immediately. According to the expert, staff “dehumanized” “Overwhelmed” during the Corona period, the accused did not deny: “It was always challenging to get staff,” says the 56-year-old, who is still is a senior employee in the care facility, which an expert certified as “serious danger to the lives of the residents” and “dehumanized staff”. The accused manager is accused of severely coercing a home helper who made the abuses public. He is said to have forced her to sign the amicable termination by saying that he would sue her as a private individual for 200,000 euros. The sentence about a possible lawsuit was in no way related to the signature, he says. There were also grievances in other SeneCura houses, most recently in Lehen in Salzburg. Judgments on the Kirchberg am Wechsel case are due on Wednesday.