In light of ABC’s recent coverage and focus on aged care, the broadcaster is now asking members of the public to come forward with information about sexual abuse in aged care.
This reminded me of what happened to my dad when he was in aged care.
A resident with cognitive issues (we think she had dementia) was caught in my dad’s room where he was bedridden and against his will, approached by a female resident where she kissed him.
The thing is, when staff at the aged care home caught the female resident in dad’s room the first time, you would think they would monitor her better but it happened again.
One of the main reasons for this was there simply was not enough staff, so she was able to come and go into my bed-ridden and immobile dad’s room whenever she wanted. (He was in a wheelchair at times too so not always bed-ridden)
My dad was disabled so he could not move so he was the helpless vulnerable one. My dad though, did not want to take the matter further as he said he felt sorry for the resident, it was not her fault and that she did not know what she was doing.
I agreed with him on that but thought that due to the home's poor staffing levels and care, they should have been accountable for what occurred.
Another time a dementia respite resident went in a number of resident’s rooms including my father’s a few times. She was a little aggressive.
Once she grabbed the TV that was on the stand and threw it. My father got a shock of his life and feared for his safety - she could easily have thrown it on his head or body.
The aged care home accepted this respite person knowing the fact they did not have the capacity or staff to monitor her. I got involved to sort it and they had to lock my dads door to keep him safe until the home resolved the issue.
Only when I insisted, did the nurse (at the time) tried to call other homes who dealt with dementia, to see if they could take her as an emergency, but there was no spots.
Instead of addressing the problem by hiring more staff to help, the home called the husband of the carer to take her home. I informed the aged care facility that what they were doing was very unacceptable and unfair - especially to the carer as they had initially accepted her at the home, and were now giving them an ultimatum and pressured them to evict her from the home.
Homes routinely advertise they can deal with residents with high care, dementia, and their funding relies on this, yet the reality is different. They should have brought in more staff to help.
This respite resident was also approaching residents during lunch and dinner time. If you did not stop her she would push. My mum and I had to stop her a few times for going towards my father.
Not only were there not enough staff to manage residents at that time, but not enough to feed the residents.
Until now, the nursing home still advertises that they have specific services for people with dementia.