two women laughing

Case Studies

Hourglass England helped make sure Betty received the urgent support she needed: 


Betty* was a resident of a Care Home in Devon. Concerned about the quality of Betty’s care, her family installed a hidden camera in her room that captured horrifying abuse.


Betty was 94 years old, had advanced dementia and was very vulnerable. Shocking footage showed care staff mocking and taunting a frightened Betty, with a further recording showing staff removing bandages meant to cover one of her many open sores and wrapping them around her head. Instead of caring for Betty, staff laughed mercilessly as she lay crying.


When Betty’s family contacted the Hourglass helpline the charity quickly intervened, giving the distraught family a voice and much needed support. Four care workers were successfully prosecuted and given lifetime bans from working in the care sector.


Betty was immediately removed from the home and spent the rest of her three remaining years in a comfortable and safe environment where she was cared for with dignity.

*Details changed per the victim’s request.


Hourglass Scotland helped Donald protect his father from further financial abuse: 


Donald* called our Helpline for advice about his elderly father, Hamish.* He shared how he and other family members and friends were being prevented from seeing his father.


Hamish has dementia, and has been in a care home for the past three years. Donald and most of his family were unable to see him during this period due to Hamish’s other son Roger, abusing his position as Power of Attorney. Roger instructed all care staff to prevent anyone visiting Hamish. All health and social care staff complied with these instructions - on the understanding that this was the appropriate legal position. 


Hourglass Scotland intervened and provided comprehensive case work support to assist Donald in challenging the isolation of his father. Through our experience of both the social care and legal systems in Scotland, we provided Donald with practical assistance, and also provided much-needed emotional support. As a result, an application was made to the local sheriff for Donald’s legal Guardianship of his father. The sheriff immediately gave a direction that the ban on family and friends from visiting Hamish should be lifted, as the ban was not of benefit to Hamish and therefore inappropriate.  Hamish is no longer kept isolated from his loving family, and can see who he wishes.

*Details changed per the victim’s request.


Hourglass' Recovery Service helped Maria regain her independence:


Maria* was experiencing psychological and financial abuse at the hands of her son. He turned up at her property, demanding money and on one occasion took out a knife and threatened to kill himself if she didn’t hand over £300.


Maria struggled to get over these experiences, and also felt lonely and isolated due to caring responsibilities. She rarely left home and felt like she was struggling to cope. 


When Maria was referred to us, we matched her with a local volunteer who helped her re-connect with the local Portuguese community, as well as long-term befriending support. The volunteer also helped her claim welfare benefits, and gradually supported her in regaining self-confidence and independence.  Without the support of her volunteer, Maria would have remained at home, with limited access to outside intervention and social opportunities to help with her recovery. The service has been a turning point in her life and has enabled her to see past what happened and begin to enjoy her life once more.

*Details changed per the victim’s request.

Read further case studies on our Knowledge Bank

NB: Some of these case studies pre-date the launch of Hourglass and were managed under the previous name of the charity.

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