It has emerged that life for the elderly men and women at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Thogoto care home in Kiambu County is unbearable.
The care home was established by the Women’s Guild of the local PCEA church but is managed independently.
The injustices that the about 50 residents are facing was brought into the limelight by two BBC Eye Africa undercover journalists, who had their loved ones admitted to the facility.
The two were able to capture disturbing footages of the injustices inflicted on the elderly. In one of the cases, an elderly woman was caned over allegations of leaving the facility’s compound. In separate instance, the elderly were served meals on the table without plates. It is also alleged that food donated to the facility is stolen by staff members.
Another resident, identified as Mwangi, was denied medical attention despite suffering from a serious skin condition.The undercover journalist was deeply affected by what she witnessed, describing the conditions as parallel to a death sentence for the elderly residents.
One of the female care giver who worked at the facility was interviewed and she revealed that residents survive by God’s grace.
“I was expecting a comfortable working environment. Things became hard. My was disheartened everyday. It’s only God keeping the resident alive but they are not surviving because of the safe home. I guess if you speak to them you know what they are going through, its very tough not what you see from the door, get in and you will see it all,” she said.
Jane Gaturu, the Home Care Manager, was contacted about the discovery but she denied mistreatment allegations saying they were based on lies and malice. According to her, there is a professional medical team that provides medical care for the residents.
“The home is a non-profit organisation run on a voluntary basis which depended entirely on donations from well-wishers. Allegations they did not take care of residents who needed medical attention were lies and malice. Residents who struggle to eat are given priority assistance and anyone seen carrying food away from the home should be dismissed. The home and the management do not condone any form of brutality or aggression towards the aged. Staff have been victims of attacks by residents.The home always observes the rule of law and remains guided by the Christian principles on which it was founded,” Ms Gaturu said.