Elderly Found Shackled to Beds in Police Raids on Illegal Care Homes

Chilling photos taken during the raids at two elderly care facilities in Bangkok show squalid and overcrowded conditions.
elderly abuse thailand
Some forty elderly residents were discovered living in unhygienic conditions in two unlicensed Bangkok care facilities during a police raid. Photo: Italo MeloPexels

Dilapidated toilets, broken amenities, and overcrowded bedrooms: These were the conditions that some forty elderlies—including two who were bedridden and some who were shackled—had been quietly languishing in at two elderly care facilities in Thailand. 

That is, until Thai authorities raided the two old peoples’ homes in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang and Nong Chok districts on Wednesday. The facilities had the same owner.

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The living conditions of the elderly residents were documented in chilling photos posted on Facebook by the Ministry of Health’s Department of Health Service Support. 

The department head noted that the caregivers had not attended proper training programs and did not possess proper documentation to live and work in the country, local press reported. There was also apparently no medical equipment or physiotherapy available to the elderly residents.

Authorities said they were tipped off by someone who visited the Lat Krabang care facility recently while applying for a job. Converted from commercial establishments, the care centers were allegedly operating without a license and were advertising very cheap prices.

Families were reported to be paying 10,000 ($303) to 12,000 baht ($364) per month. Other high-class facilities in Thailand advertise for 33,000 baht per week. 

According to local police chief Neti Wongkulab, the owner of the two facilities will be arrested if she ignores a police summons. He added that the woman used to run another elderly care center but was forced to shut it down following the death of a COVID-positive resident. 

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Residents’ families were contacted to pick them up, while those whose families couldn't be reached were relocated to a state-owned care facility, the Bangkok Post reported.

Following the raid, the Department of Health Service Support said in a Facebook post that people should choose licensed care centers and visit the facility before deciding to house relatives there “to be assured that the elderly will be provided with safe and proper care by adequately trained staff.” 

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