Dying man left covered in excrement

TT/Paul O'Mahony
TT/Paul O'Mahony - [email protected] • 29 Sep, 2006 Updated Fri 29 Sep 2006 10:48 CEST

A dying man was left lying in faeces so long that it dried into his skin. When he finally received treatment he was in such pain that he had to take morphine before being washed. The man died the next day, Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) reports.


The 83-year-old man, who suffered from senile dementia and an advanced stage of cancer, spent two months this summer at Kronparksgården in Uppsala, run by the private company Attendo Care. The man's relatives visited him several times each week. Each time they arrived at his ward they were struck by the stench of urine and floors so sticky that their shoes got stuck. They often began their visit by doing the staffs' work: cleaning the immediate environment, washing the man and changing his clothes.

The man's daughter visited at the end of August:

"The room stank and he was lying in bed covered in faeces. He was rubbing his eyes with hands full of faeces. There were used nappies in the bedside sink", she told UNT.

When she found him in the same condition four days later she decided enough was enough and demanded that he be moved to another ward. He was immediately moved to a ward administered by Uppsala municipality. When he arrived the faeces had dried into his body and he was in considerable pain. He needed to be given morphine before staff could begin washing him. He died the next day.

The man's relatives are strongly critical of the level of neglect to which he was exposed. He was not given painkillers despite being in serious pain. When his relatives pointed this out to staff they were largely ignored. He was seldom dressed in his own clothes despite the fact that his relatives bought him new clothes to the value of 2,000 kronor during his stay in the care facility. Staff claimed that his clothes were in the wash and instead dressed him in other people's tattered old clothes.

The ward where the man stayed received so many complaints during the winter that it was forced to draw up a plan of action to tackle the problem, UNT reports. Following complaints from the 83-year-old man's relatives the company has begun its own investigation.


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