A Warrigal Care staff member has been charged over the alleged assaults of five patients under her care.
Police confirmed the woman was charged on Wednesday with five counts of assault on three women and two men aged between 74 and 87 at the Warilla aged care facility.
The incidents allegedly occurred between October and December.
The case first came to light when the Mercury reported the case on Friday after family members of residents raised concerns.
Lake Illawarra police commander Superintendent Dean Smith confirmed a 48-year-old woman from Windang had been charged and granted conditional bail.
The woman was arrested at a home in Mount Warrigal before 10am and taken to Lake Illawarra police station.
Warrigal acting executive officer Craig Smith told the Mercury on Friday that the incident, alleged to have occurred sometime in December, involved the staff member “using more force than necessary with the resident”.
Two staff members reported the allegation to managers on December 24, prompting Warrigal to immediately suspend the woman and report the matter to police.
Mr Smith said during the police investigation, officers were told of a second incident – believed to involve the same staff member – with another resident.
“Police made an allegation that the staff member used a spray bottle on the resident,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith confirmed he had received only two formal reports against the worker in question – both originating from fellow workers.
Both patients are understood to live in the facility’s dementia ward.
The former staff member will appear at Port Kembla Local Court on February 27.
Superintendent Smith said no further details could be released because the matter was before the courts.
“Police have been working with Warrigal Care and the families of the victims as part of the investigation,” he said.