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I work for myself as a dementia support worker.I have been in the care sector for 20 years. I was recently accused of sexual assault by someone that has advanced dementia. I was cleared of everything,this didnt go to court just a safeguarding meeting.This has turned my life upside down,i feel like my confidence has gone,im totally paranoid.I have felt every emotion under the sun.I am now at the very angry stage.The accuser has family and i have been told that i could bring a case against them on behalf of there relative who accused me.Is this correct?I just dont know what to do at the moment,i feel so hurt by all of this.I do realise this person has dementia and as such doesnt know what they are saying as they are deemed to not have capacity.I also realise that the vulnerable need to be protected.....but who protects the carers..????

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I'm not suggesting that you personally should have to resort to this, but on the subject I have been wondering lately if caregivers should follow the police's lead and start wearing - oh how ridiculous. I've forgotten what they're called. Those little cameras, like dashboard cameras, but attached to your clothing.
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Huge hugs to you. Again, I'm so sorry this happened. Vent away, and don't apologise for it!
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There is no denying that hired caregiving is often a thankless job. And yes, everyone is looking out for the person receiving care (as of course they should) but meanwhile the caregivers might have to put up with physical, verbal and sexual abuse mixed in with the challenges of many unpleasant personal care tasks. And smile while you do it! Only you can know when the time has come to give it up, when the joy has gone from your job and it becomes a chore to get up every day. Perhaps seeking a position where you would be part of a team instead of working alone would be a good transition for you.
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Sometimes a chance to vent is all one needs to get a clear heart/mind and go on. One thing you can focus on, instead of the one unfortunate episode, is the countless others that have been rewarding, satisfying and just plain A-OK! With a 20 year career behind you, I can only imagine the good you have done! Blessings with the grandbaby coming!
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Yes i have indemnity insurance,a full crb/dbs etc etc.I am not a member of any association.Obviously i realise that this had to be fully investigated...of course it did,but in my mind the damage is done.Yes i was cleared(as nothing untoward happened)but it has left me wondering why i bother.Rather self indulgent perhaps but to have been accused of something so vile...well...i just cant get my head around it.If i had been accused of say stealing i think i would have coped better.Im a mother and grandmother(any day now) and it just sickens me.
Luckily the family were great as they knew it was all false.The client lived on her own but had a care agency go in at tea times and the client said something to one of them,who then in turn phoned the police.(which of course was the right thing).Its just my thoughts now are that i looked after her for well over five years and this happens...Do i even want to carry on...!!!
Im going on...i do apoligise,it just seems to help typing in all down....
Many thanks for listening/reading.
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It sounds as though everything went the way it should, there was an investigation and you were cleared of any wrong doing. Whether you choose to pursue legal action depends on the circumstances. If it was the family who filed the report and there was nothing to indicate a problem beyond the accusations of their parent then I can understand why you would be hurt and angry at their lack of trust in you and their haste in making a formal complaint. Did they take any previous steps to get to the bottom of the accusation? Do you feel they could have known better or is it possible, if you were in their shoes, you might have acted no differently?

I was also thinking along the same lines as Countrymouse, working to make sure your reputation remains untarnished. I'm uncertain a lawsuit is the best way to achieve that, although it may be able cover the costs of therapy for you.
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You work for yourself, yes; but are you a member of a professional association? A union? Do you have professional indemnity insurance? If not, and you plan to resume your business in due course, this might be a good time to think about those things. Support, representation, advice, advocacy: all of these would have helped you get through what must have been an extremely upsetting experience.

As you say, as an experienced dementia support worker you know that these accusations are made and have to be investigated. I'm very, very sorry that it has happened to you, and hope that you are satisfied that the process itself was proportionate? - settled without its going to court, a safeguarding meeting which presumably resolved the issue.

I wonder: could the authority or agency which dealt with the safeguarding issue, having cleared your reputation, also point you towards advisors or organisations which could now help you deal with the aftermath?

It would be an unspeakable shame if an experienced person like you, with a long and unblemished track record, were lost to future clients.
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