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<p>Photo by Mike Bowers</p>

Photo by Mike Bowers

Tina Houldsworth, Susan Hadgkiss, Robert Hadgkiss

Inside Australia's Nursing Homes: A New Online Tool

The Global Mail has created a new online tool for consumers to check the oversight records of hundreds of aged-care facilities.

George Hadgkiss lies in a hospital bed, tubes inserted through his nostrils, vivid bruises purpling his jaw. His family surrounds him, filmed from the shaky, invisible hand of one of his children, who is holding the camera. The video shows the 85-year-old World War II veteran in obvious pain as he labours to answer his children's questions about the incident that landed him in Royal Brisbane Hospital, needing surgery to repair three fractures to his jaw.

A black-and-white x-ray sheet pops up in front of the camera. One of the family members holds it up, as evidence of what they say happened to their father. It shows three clear spots of bright white, indicating fractures in the bone.

George Hadgkiss's Story

"Dad, can you tell me what happened?" asks one of his daughters.

The old man recounts being startled by an aged-care nurse at the nursing home, where Hadgkiss had been living for several weeks. According to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which dealt with a claim of professional misconduct, the nurse had crouched down to check Mr Hadgkiss's ventolin nebulizer. Startled, the 85 year old responded by placing his hands on or around the nurse's throat. The nurse's response was to push against Hadgkiss's jaw and in doing so, the tribunal notes, the injuries were caused.

"He punched me," claimed Hadgkiss, in the video. "Stupid thing to do to an old patient."

The Tribunal noted that there were other ways the nurse could have dealt with the situation. There was a substantial physical discrepancy between the two and that "the patient was vulnerable and suffered from conditions which should have put the nurse on alert about how he should be approached," the tribunal found, and concluded that the nurse's response to Hadgkiss demonstrated a lack of adequate knowledge, skill, judgment or care in the practice of his profession.

The Global Mail's efforts to contact the nurse were unsuccessful, but the family says the case points to what can happen when there are failures in the system meant to protect people in aged care.

"I've worked in a nursing home as an assistant nurse," says Susan Hadgkiss, one of three Hadgkiss children who spoke with The Global Mail. "I see how vulnerable they are. If families aren't coming around, who's protecting them?"

The children point to several elements of their father's case that they say illustrate broader problems in the system. For one, they complain that there was a seven-year delay between when the events occurred and when the tribunal handed down its decision to reprimand the nurse and impose conditions on his registration. They are also troubled by the tribunal's finding that the nurse failed to formally report the incident. And they note the absence of any record of the events on the official websites - the Department of Health and Ageing and the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency - that are supposed to provide transparency and accountability in Australia's aged-care facilities, the technical term for what are better known as nursing homes and hostels.

George Hadgkiss died a year later, from conditions the coroner said were unrelated to the injured jaw. His family says their father never recovered from the physical and emotional shock of that event.

"The trust in fellow man was all gone" says Tina Houldsworth, another of George's daughters.

"I don't want to see another family go through what we've been going through," Houldsworth says.

A new analysis of official reports gives a more complete picture of the problems in aged care

An analysis of hundreds of government reports and official documents by The Global Mail shows that the issues that concern the Hadgkiss family are not uncommon.

Using a range of official documents, we have created an online tool that the public can use to search for aged-care facilities that have breached official standards relating to care performance, according to oversight bodies. The Global Mail will periodically update the online tool as new information becomes available.

Oversight of Australia's aged-care industry is shared by two bodies in the main: the Department of Health and Ageing, and the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency. The two are technically independent, but work closely together to supervise more than 5,000 aged-care facilities, including nearly 3,000 residential facilities, according to government data.

When the department finds an aged-care facility to be in breach of its legal duties, it can issue a notice of non-compliance, or a sanction. (The definitions of a "notice of non-compliance" and "sanction" can be found in the glossary of the accompanying data visualisation).

Assessment teams from the accreditation agency conduct regular scheduled and unannounced visits of homes, and where they find shortcomings, they will often decide to shorten the facility's period of accreditation. In some extreme cases, they will revoke its accreditation altogether. In either case, the agency publishes a decision to vary or revoke the facility's accreditation. Only accredited facilities are eligible to receive government funds.

Taken together, these documents comprise most of the publicly available information about problems at specific aged-care facilities. An analysis of the documents gives a sense of the biggest problems identified by officials at facilities across the country.

“I see how vulnerable they are. If families aren’t coming around, who’s protecting them?”

Those problems include:

- Inadequate staffing - including training and staff shortages - were found in more than half of the homes that received negative reviews from the accreditation agency;

- Residents were often left waiting hours for assistance with their toileting, or endured other continence-related problems;

- Several facilities failed to report assaults, including assaults on residents by staff, or by other residents.

The online tool will give consumers more information about the quality of aged care in Australia and will encourage providers to improve their standards, according to John Braithwaite, a research fellow at the Australian National University, who in 2007 published a book on regulating aged care. "It's going to contribute to quality of care," he says.

Consumers need better information about nursing homes, expert says

On paper, at least, Australia has a high-quality system of aged care. Nearly 95 per cent of nursing homes satisfied all of their accreditation benchmarks, as at December 31, 2009, according to Chris Falvey, general manager of corporate affairs at the accreditation agency.

<p>Photo by Mike Bowers</p>

Photo by Mike Bowers

Indeed, experts, workers and family members of aged-care residents told The Global Mail that many facilities provide very good care, and that the majority of aged-care staffers work extremely hard, often for relatively low wages.

However, some argue that it's unrealistic to suggest that nearly 100 per cent of the aged care facilities in the country are performing perfectly.

"It's absolutely not believable," says Braithwaite. He says that giving virtually all homes perfect reviews doesn't help consumers distinguish between them. "It's just a farce if the system is partly about giving consumers meaningful feedback on which places are better or worse." A more gradated, detailed system would be of much greater use to consumers, and spark professionals to improve their performance, he says.

The government possesses a wealth of information about the quality of aged care, in addition to the information it makes public. For instance, the department receives thousands of complaints each year, which are not published because of privacy and other legal constraints. And though it publishes the fact that a sanction has been imposed on a home or provider, it provides only a vague summary of the breaches involved. For example, it might say, "Accreditation Standard 2: Health and personal care," and itemise shortcomings such as, "Clinical care", "Other health and related services" and "Medication management".

Additionally, the department issued nearly 400 "notices of required action" to aged-care facilities in 2010-11 alone. Those documents, which the department provided to The Global Mail, noted failures relating to assaults, police checks of staff, inappropriate restraint of residents through both drugs and physical means, and one failure relating to "respect and dignity for the dead." However, the department did not include the facilities' names on the documents, so it is impossible to know where these problems occurred.

Even when information is published, it often disappears from official websites after a certain period of time. The department typically removes notices of non-compliance after two years, while the agency takes down decisions to vary or revoke accreditation from its website as soon as an updated review is published.

Many people we spoke with said residents and their families are often reluctant to speak up about problems in nursing homes, for fear of retribution by staff or management, and that numerous problems go unreported as a result.

“It’s just a farce if the system is partly about giving consumers meaningful feedback on which places are better or worse.”

Nevertheless, it is clear from the reports that are available, that some issues have emerged as widespread problems in nursing homes and hostels across the country.

Staff shortages affect residents' health and safety, and staff morale

One of the most common complaints against aged-care facilities is a lack of adequately trained staff.

"We are currently 20,000 nurses short in aged care," says Lee Thomas, federal secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation. "Our workforce is imperative to aged care, to keep it functioning," she says.

That shortfall could increase dramatically along with demand for aged-care services.

Our analysis shows that more than half of the facilities that had a negative accreditation review between July 2008 and the end of 2011 failed one of the criteria relating to staff education and training. Within the agency reports, assessors described a lack of qualified nurses to oversee medication or medical procedures, or staff complaining that they did not have sufficient time to perform their duties.

The exodus of workers from aged-care nursing has become a primary concern for Terri Burrell, a registered nurse who works as a supervisor in an aged-care facility in Ashfield, a suburb of Sydney. Burrell is an unpaid union representative.

<p>Photo courtesy of Tina Houldsworth</p>

Photo courtesy of Tina Houldsworth

George Hadgkiss with his six children

"In my facility, from 8.30pm to 6.30am, there's one registered nurse and two assistants-in-nursing for the 59 residents," she says. Many elderly people who suffer dementia are prone to walking around at night, and Burrell says ensuring their safety can present overwhelming challenges for nurses who also have to attend to regular duties such as turning immobile residents in their beds, to prevent bedsores. "I could have five or six wanderers, on a bad night. And you've got three staff. How could you be answering buzzers, doing the hourly rounds you need to do, and turning people?"

Burrell and other nurses told The Global Mail that the grueling work, combined with wages that are below what nurses can earn in public hospitals, has left the industry searching for ways to fill the staffing shortages.

One solution has been an increased reliance on so-called personal care workers, according to Jean Booth, a lecturer in nursing at La Trobe University. While registered nurses usually have tertiary qualifications, and enrolled nurses have undertaken a TAFE course of about 18 months, Booth says it is possible to gain a qualification as a personal care worker in as little as six weeks.

Leaving registered nurses with a team of minimally trained workers can put both residents and nurses at risk, and Booth says it's not uncommon for nurses to be responsible for upwards of 60 residents at a time. "If they've got untrained people working for them, they might not report things or see things that a registered nurse would see."

According to a 2009 report by Access Economics, there were nearly 85,000 personal care workers in Australia in 2007, accounting for 64 per cent of the aged-care workforce. That percentage was expected to grow substantially over coming years, the report found.

The increased reliance on workers with minimal training is a cause for concern, according to Henry Brodaty, professor of ageing and mental health at the University of New South Wales, and one of Australia's foremost authorities on dementia. "People in nursing homes have more complex medical needs, but the staffing hasn't kept pace with that," he says. "Many have minimal training."

Unlike most healthcare workers in Australia, personal care workers are not subject to formal registration. The federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, announced a commitment of $3.5 million in the 2010-11 federal budget to explore registration of personal care workers. The Department of Health and Ageing told The Global Mail that they have engaged a consulting firm to look at the issue, and expect a report in the coming months.

“People in nursing homes have more complex medical needs, but the staffing hasn’t kept pace with that.”

For one Queensland family, closing that gap in regulation has taken on the hues of a crusade, after their 89-year-old mother was allegedly assaulted by a worker at a nursing home in northern Queensland.

Due to the sexual nature of the alleged assault, The Global Mail has agreed to withhold the identity of the victim and her family. They provided us with documents to back up their story, including correspondence with the Department of Health and Ageing, and an April 2010 decision by the federal Aged Care Complaints Investigation Scheme which determined the home had failed to "ensure a safe environment for residents," and referred the matter to the department for further consideration.

The events occurred in July 2009, several weeks after the woman moved into the facility, which is run by one of Australia's largest not-for-profit providers of aged-care services. Her daughters visited regularly, and each noticed that their mother's demeanor had begun to change.

"She was very clingy and frightened as the night approached," the sisters wrote in an email statement to The Global Mail. "Whichever one of us was there as evening approached had to check the windows were locked and reassure her she was safe."

The sisters began exchanging text messages and phone calls in which they noted some comments their mother had started making, which they found "odd".

The comments included: "Was she getting married; was she having a baby; not wanting to be disloyal to her husband," the sisters said. She also told them there was a "man that comes in at night and damages women".

As their mother's distress grew, so too did the daughters' concerns, but their attempts to decipher the clues were frustrated because of their mother's waning cognitive functions - her dementia meant she simply couldn't articulate what had happened to her.

<p>Photo courtesy of Tina Houldsworth</p>

Photo courtesy of Tina Houldsworth

Historical photo of George Hadgkiss

Then, on July 31, 2009, a manager from the facility phoned one of the sisters, telling her that a personal care worker had been "immediately stood down" after two alleged assaults on her mother. The sequence of events is detailed in the complaints investigation scheme's findings, which also noted that the worker had earlier been transferred from another section of the facility for "performance reasons" but that "no additional performance management strategies were implemented".

In notes she took at the time, one sister wrote that the alleged conduct involved a "kissing incident" and that their mother had bruising to her upper thigh.

The allegations were referred to the police, but the woman's dementia meant she would not be considered a reliable witness, and police could not pursue the case.

For the sisters, the episode was not just a personal matter. They have come to believe that the absence of registration for personal care workers means that a significant aspect of aged-care lacks proper safeguards for the public.

They say that even though personal care workers are subject to police background checks, that isn't a sufficient safeguard, because of the very high burden of proof required for criminal sanctions.

They have written letters to the department, the federal Aged Care Commissioner, the Australian Nursing Federation, and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to make their case about registration.

"Personal care workers' role requires the most intimate touching of individuals in their care," they wrote in their email to The Global Mail. "If there was a National Registration Board, as there is for most health professionals under [the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency], there would be a structure for redressing unethical practice when there is evidence of misconduct."

“If the home closes, then this has a major impact on the lives of residents who must find another place to live.”

Residents left in soiled continence pads for days at a time, staff forced to reuse pads.

In about a third of all the reports which resulted in the accreditation agency either shortening or revoking a home's accreditation, assessors found that homes fell short in managing residents' continence.

"Urinary tract infections are not monitored to identify trends and residents at risk of recurrent infections," said a report on a Northern Territory facility in April 2009.

At a Queensland facility, care plans did "not provide staff with clear direction to implement toileting regimes, resulting in increased episodes of incontinence," a December 2008 report noted. And in October 2011 assessors at a facility in Brisbane found that assistance to toilets and changing continence aids were not provided "in a timely manner".

Nurses told The Global Mail that continence management is one of the most pressing issues in aged-care facilities because of the effect it can have on the dignity of residents and staff. Many nurses spoke on condition of anonymity, pointing to clauses in their contracts that forbid them from discussing their work with the media.

Nurses complained in particular about rationing of continence pads - which resemble adult diapers - to three per day for each resident.

"Sometimes you did have to put a person back in soiled pads," says Victoria, who insisted on using only her first name. Victoria worked at a for-profit facility on the northern NSW coast until late October 2011. "They wonder why so many people get rashes. It's because we don't have enough pads allocated throughout the day for them."

<p>Photo courtesy of Tina Houldsworth</p>

Photo courtesy of Tina Houldsworth

Historical photo of George Hadgkiss

Another nurse, who works at a not-for-profit facility in Queensland, says some residents turn their pads around after soiling them, because they are not provided with fresh supplies. One resident was left in the same pad for 24 hours before the nurse found him.

"I felt absolutely disgusted and sorry for the poor man," she says. "It was like extreme nappy rash. The skin was all burnt. And it was physically visible that he'd suffered burn from the pad because it had been left on for so long."

Lee Thomas, federal secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation, was taken aback by the accounts of rationing and reuse of pads.

"The accreditation agency is able to be contacted where there is suspicion of substandard care being delivered through fiscal tightening or any other mode," she said.

A department spokeswoman said, "the government provides financial subsidies to aged-care homes on behalf of each resident, based on their assessed care needs, which includes their need for support with continence." How that money is spent is a matter for each home, the official said in an emailed statement to The Global Mail.

Regulators seldom force the closure of troubled aged-care facilities

Despite the problems identified at these homes, regulators very seldom force the closure of aged-cared facilities. Of the 138 decisions from the accreditation agency, we found only two instances where accreditation was revoked, leading a home to close.

"We believe it is in the best interests of residents generally to work with the home to improve the quality of care and services," says Falvey, the accreditation agency's general manager of corporate affairs, in an emailed statement.

“The trust in fellow man was all gone.”

"For each resident, the aged care home is their home," he said. "They may have chosen that particular home because it is located close to family and friends so that they can conveniently visit. If the home closes, then this has a major impact on the lives of residents who must find another place to live."

Moreover, Falvey told us the issues identified in accreditation reports "are not indicative of the industry's performance more broadly".

"Each report reflects the particular circumstances at the given home at the time the audit was conducted, and the reasons for failure are also peculiar to that home," he wrote in a letter in December 2011.

Experts on regulation disagreed, saying information about a home's compliance history will help consumers who are considering an aged-care facility for themselves or a family member, and improve transparency overall.

"It's a good idea to give consumers information as to which nursing homes are better than other nursing homes," says John Braithwaite, of the ANU.

"So consumers can see, 'Oh here's a home that has never ever been found to be in breach. But here's a home that has been found to be in breach on 17 things in recent years. There are some questions I need to ask of the management of the home, before I put my mother in there, as to why the breaches occurred, and whether they are likely to occur again.'"

17 comments on this story
by Helen

Thank you for running this story; I worked in Perth nursing homes until 1998 and endeavoured to monitor outcomes for local homes over the next 4-5 years. It remains extraordinarily difficult to find relevant information on the current care provided by nursing homes, let alone on their history of compliance.
However it is not only past sanctions and non-compliance that need to be monitored, but also how they relate to the same management, which may involve more detective work. eg while I worked for nursing homes managed by the same group, they were listed as having different providers.

Staffing and remuneration continue to be major issues as experienced workers resign exhausted. Many new personal care givers, including recent migrants, enter the industry not from choice but because they are obliged to study and then find work. Even assuming adequate English and good will on the part of the care giver, the opportunity for cultural - misunderstandings -with deaf and/or demented residents is enormous.

This subject must not go away.

March 8, 2012 @ 3:17pm
by jane

This "industry" really stinks!

My mother was slapped by a div 2 nurse, another resident witnessed the slapping. Although the police officer believed my mum and the witness, because they both had cognitive problems they could not prosecute the nurse.

Who on earth sticks up for the vulnerable?! This nurse still works at the age care facility and mum left.

I don;t know how this counrty gets away with the appaling treatment of our elderly. left to sit in shitty urine soaked nappies for hours on end.... It must be a human rights issue??

Shame on us as nation for doing not much about it! A restaurant can be reviewed by the public, why not an aged care home - Bring it on?! Only the comsumers can change the system. Enough bad reviews and the homes will have to lift their game. I suggest start with google maps reviews....i reviewed my mothers acf there!

March 8, 2012 @ 11:12pm
by Lucy

“ …Nearly 95 per cent of nursing homes satisfied all of their accreditation benchmarks…”

But the benchmarks (a corporate term) revolve around risk management (another corporate term). They don’t measure kindness, sincerity or any human quality vital to human care. Why don’t the accreditation standards use the obvious measure – the residents’ experience of their care?
The risk the department measures is not to the residents – but to itself.

I worked at an aged care facility a few years ago where an elderly male was (wrongly) accused and “punished” by a couple of senior staff. When his family approached the Aged Rights Advocacy Service it took nearly a year for their complaint to move through multiple arms of the system. Would you believe that, until the moment they finally sat down with the complaints mediators from Canberra, neither the resident nor his family were allowed to know the initial complaint made against him? No defence allowed here!

I am enjoying your coverage of aged care. I look forward to your work on the complaints resolution system.

March 9, 2012 @ 3:10am
by Kerry

There are similar problems in Disability Accommodation facilities. There is no registration of support workers, paltry training prior to commencement of duties and little chance of proving assault or neglect when individuals receiving services have intellectual and communication impairment. Sadly, unlike age care, this can go on for forty or fifty years as many individuals with a disability are in care for the majority of their life.

March 11, 2012 @ 12:17pm
by David

This is a great initative! My aunt was an inmate of a home in Townsville until she passed away in Aug last year. I do not see that facility on the map but I know that it has failed its compliance in a number of areas at times.
I also see that there other facilities in the are that seem not to be mentioned. Would it help to have the names of these facilities?
I consider that staff in the home did try to deliver on care but a variety of issues make care delivery a challenge not the least of which is increasing reliance on staff with poor language skills.
I also feel that in the case of the home I had knowledge of, the board of management was unskilled in the running of such a facility. While charitable organisations may have their hearts in the right place, they lack skills in many or all of the elements to manage facilities - often acting at a distance to the issues.
One of the ways to manage a lack of knowledge is to have clear procedures for staff. This was often lacking in the cases I can refer to. While what I may have to say is not as dramatic as the case quoted, it adds to the poor record of these facilities and I would like to see a site such as what have initiated, be as pervasive as possible.
Perhaps I did not use the search tool correctly but if the information for my area at least is not there yet, I am happy to pass on the facilities names.

March 12, 2012 @ 4:15am
by Michael

This is a great piece about a subject which needs investigation, but when TGM continues to analyse the topic, please consider investigating the conditions aged care workers are subject to - overwork; very low pay; underskilled middle management; difficulty maintaining incomes in a casualised industry; difficulty accessing up-to-date training; impossibility of meeting patients' and families' expectations (the brochure looks great but it's not our fault the service doesn't match!); and generally difficult working conditions - shifts are regularly understaffed; equipment is regularly insufficient etc. etc. etc. The real villains in this scenario are the shareholders and senior managements who keep all the shit at arms' length and take all the money!

March 12, 2012 @ 8:36am
by Richard

I resent the implication in this article that non-nurse-trained aged care workers are somehow the reckless agents who are the problem in Australia's aged care scene.

It is an RN who is under investigation for deliberately lighting the fire at the Quakers Hill aged care facility which killed over 10 residents in Sydney in 2011!

As aged care workers, we are subject to all the same laws as nurses, the same OH&S principles and legal/financial liability for our behaviours.

It is not our fault nurses are leaving the industry in droves. Some of them who remain are snobby and controlling, and their clinical care training might be from the 1960s, whereas mine is from last year.

In most cases we do the same manual handling work, but we get much less money in our pockets by the end of the week.

Look elsewhere for the problem please. We give families the choice of not having Grandma at home and having to maintain her care themselves. We should be thanked, not investigated!

March 12, 2012 @ 9:48am
by jane

michael, we need more whistle blowers!

I'm surprised that the staff aren't up in arms and dont revolt! fancy being paid under $20 an hour while the management or owners are driving around in flash cars and own footbal teams!

also what about the disgracful share holders making a profit from the elderly....feed them hotdogs and overcooked chicken nuggets for tea and see how they like it!

it's a bloody disgrace.

March 12, 2012 @ 2:12pm
by garth

My mother has been in a dementia unit for three and a half years. She has the best care from a core of long term workers who are the most amazingly dedicated people i have ever known. The unit has room for nine so the staff are not ground into the dust by over work. They go home very tired most days but are not presented with an outlook of overwhelming hopelessness. And the best thing you can do for your family member is to visit frequently. The upside is that you show love and care for your family member which transfers to the staff. The flip side is that frequent visits will give you a much better idea of the daily care good or bad. Responsibility for the success of an ever increasing need for aged care rests with all the players.

March 13, 2012 @ 10:58am
by Roxane

Hooray. Finally a discussion not only about staffing, but training. The article touched on a funding issue: the funding is supplied but it's up to the provider how they spend it. I would suggest that the bulk of the money is spent on attracting the customers. Which aged care facility is chosen for a resident to spend the rest of their life in is usually the responsibility of a relatives. Facilities therefore need to spend money to create that all important good first impression. I would suggest the other area that gets money spent on it is the development and maintenance of the processes that the watch dogs concern themselves with. What does all that expenditure have to do with the real world quality of care residents receive and the safe hospitable working conditions of the staff that care for them? Very little.

March 13, 2012 @ 8:47pm
by Kris

RE: Inside Australia's nursing homes tool.

Hello, very impressed with this application. I am interested in whether the data underlying the app is available at all, in particular in a database/analytics software form. This compilation of data could be used very effectively along with other data (e.g. prescription information) in a variety of ways that many researchers could use, and not just limited to directly looking at outcomes of poor standards in these facilities (e.g. health issues in facilities with different standards).

March 23, 2012 @ 2:41pm
by Catherine

I have only just read this article. I refer to: "We believe it is in the best interests of residents generally to work with the home to improve the quality of care and services," says Falvey, the accreditation agency's general manager of corporate affairs, in an emailed statement."
My experience in my loved one's case has been 1. that the home deliberately acted to cover up causes of injury, and 2. the home covered up wilful neglect. This occurred not once, but over a period of four years. Complaints people are toothless. Home lies to protect it's interests. Where does that leave the vulnerable residents?

August 20, 2013 @ 9:38pm
by SS

There is a spreading radius of corruption within nursing homes nation wide which at its outer reaches entails some sort of wider conspiracy.

September 13, 2013 @ 3:41am
by Nothingchanges

Nothing has changed and people are not aware of this until they put someone they love into one of these hell holes to die without dignity in a pool of urine. I'd like to see our Prime Minister last one single night in one of these facilities where subsidised patients are held - not the homes for rich Australians where he might end up when he's too old to stay home.

November 12, 2013 @ 12:14am
Show previous 14 comments
by sandra

my grandfather died from a fight in a nursing home with another resident in 2000 and I only read the report that the door was broken and they didn't fix it, we lost our grandfather, his house was sold. I now blame them if they fixed the door he would have lived longer, we would still have our family home, the accreditation didn't even go there till 3 years later, whole thing sucks and im so cranky, thanks to there incompetance

December 1, 2013 @ 9:51pm
by Gail Josling

A relative of mine recently completed a 3 week placement in a well known aged care facility on the Central Coast as part of her training. She was extremely distressed to witness the poor treatment and degradation of the residents taking place within the facility. It was poorly staffed by incompetent staff with no obvious "care" being taken. This is a high care facility and residents who soiled themselves or their bedding during the night were not attended to until the morning, sometimes being left for up to 8 hours in a soiled condition. When my relative opened a meal for one resident a live cockroach was present. These people have no voice with very few visitors. One poor old lady, on discovering it was my relative's last day, begged her to help get her somewhere else. A shame on this system that allows this type of treatment of our elderly. Something should be done - we will all get there one day. What can we do??? Please can we help these old people?

January 4, 2014 @ 5:31pm
by Human kindness

It would be useful for the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency to involve the opinions and knowledge of incidents, from relatives of residents in their assessments.
They can be extremely helpful in pointing out where discrepancies occur and improvements could be made. They could also point out what does work well.
Relatives need to be listened to and not be treated as a nuisance by staff of aged care homes.
If accreditation is working how come the same old problems are occurring.
We could all, including present staff, possibly be a resident in a nursing home one day and we need to fix problems NOW!

January 31, 2014 @ 10:11am
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