In recent times there have been some serious claims about harm or injury which has affected the residents of aged care homes around the country. There are many stories of neglect and shortfalls in care and other issues which seem to have dominated the image of aged care, leading eventually to the appointment of the Royal Commission into Aged Care.
The Department of Health and the Providers have now taken to call their clients or residents by the name of ‘consumers’ yet they are unwilling to acknowledge, in the information they provide to their residents and their new incoming residents, any information which might lead their residents to believe they actually have the same rights as other Australians would have, if they had been harmed or injured in the course of receiving health services.
So, the ideal objective is for real consequences for aged care residents when they suffer harm or injury. They should have ready access to restorative justice and recourse to impartial and binding decisions, at the expense of the party who has caused their pain, injury and discomfort. If they were not aged, disabled and vulnerable, that is what their fellow Australians would have.
We believe we now have a log of claims and recourse pathways to restorative justice which will bring fairness and equal rights back into the legal equation. Those legal solutions have practical outcomes for elders whose lives revolve around the need for love and care, comfort, security and relief from pain and the effects of poor and failing health. Awards which are meaningful for them are for compensation to cover recovery and rehabilitation, refunds of care fees, specialist health care, extra health services and respite care when necessary. These are the things that matter to the aged care resident who has been harmed, suffered pain or discomfort and needs special health and social support.
If you know of someone who may need the kind of redress and recourse to justice which we are talking about, call us for a no- obligation consultation.
Here are some examples of what the media has reported on in the last year or so:
An aged care worker was found hitting an elderly dementia patient with a shoe by a secretly filmed video. The worker then was sentenced to forth months in jail.
Maggots were found in head wound of elderly aged care resident at A South Coast aged care home;
A dietitian found more than half of residents at a residential aged care facility were malnourished or at risk of undernourishment when she was called in as a consultant late 2018. News report see:
There were “serious complaints” relating to 23 people since 2017 in an aged care home for physical abuse and use of chemical restraints News report see: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-04/elderly-womans-aged-care-complaint-not-resolved-before-death/11464678
The sons of an elderly woman who was sexually assaulted in her nursing home are suing the Provider, claiming it failed to protect her from a suspected predator.
A former nurse has spoken out against a Provider for which she worked claiming elderly patients were abused and left without food by staff. The whistle blower, who asked to remain anonymous, detailed incidents at the aged-care home involving residents who were regularly left in urine-soaked incontinence pads, which were limited to just three a day.
News report: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/whistleblower-nurse-speaks-out-about-neglect-at-bupa-agedcare-home-at-baulkham-hills/news-story/bc07d678af8a213532c4f49d8e95b693 (need subscribe)
A government investigation of a Sydney nursing home has revealed cases of disappearing dementia patients, dying residents left hungry and in pain, and multiple reports of residents assaulting one another. News report see:
Health concerns at a NSW country town aged care home were made following equipment breakdown. Due to a faulty mechanical lifter, several residents were unable to leave their beds, have a shower, or use a proper toilet. (Fairfax Media 13 Sep 2019 report)