Key Themes: abuse in care homes, whistle-blowing, failures of legal system, true story. Book Description and About the Author Eileen is one of the unsung heroines of our time. Years ago when I opened the first refuge in Chiswick, London in 1971, I was fighting to bring attention to the plight of victims of domestic violence. Nan was the oldest member of our community. She came to take refuge with us after a severe beating from her son. She died as a result of a frenzied attack from him when he was drunk. I was always aware of the level of abuse amongst the fragile elderly people in this country but the battle to even get the subject of domestic violence acknowledged amongst the powers that be in England meant that the plight of the elderly in this country slipped under the radar. Whistleblowers anywhere in the world have to recognise that they will always be met with derision and abuse. We all grow up with the nursery story of the little boy who pointed to the Emperor with no clothes I always imagined his mother took him off and washed out his mouth with soap.As a nation the English do not like anyone who 'makes a fuss,' and I met Eileen when she was already cleaning lavatories to make a living after she was roundly condemned and blackballed by a major Nursing Home provider for daring to criticise their methods of caring for the fragile, elderly patients.
Eileen is an immensely courageous woman and this book is the story of her fight to gain recognition for the rights of the elderly community to be treated with respect and compassion. She tells the story of her brave and ferocious battle in such a way that the reader will be swept along and able to share her triumphs and the lows of what has become her life's mission. Her sense of humour never deserts her nor her archaic take on the pomposity of most of her enemies. It is chilling in these pages to read about the lengths people in power are willing to go to stop Eileen and her supporters trying to protect their charges. That a woman of her integrity and compassion should be black balled from the caring profession and forced to clean for a living is a terrible indictment of our society. I firmly believe that this book will reach a wide audience.All of us at one time or another will face the future care of our loved ones. Inevitably all of us will also look for caring as we reach an incapacitated old age. It is the Eileen's of this world who seek to make the changes needed.