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Aged care crisis - Australia's greatest shame

By Tristan Ewins - posted Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Last night ABC's Lateline lifted the lid on an Aged Care Crisis which I have been trying to draw attention to for many years .

In light of the revelations arising from the Lateline program, we will begin this article by recalling the basic substance of that recent (July 15th ) story.

ABC investigative journalist Margot O'Neil constructed a report for Lateline after conducting a year-long investigationthat common complaints about the quality of aged care in Australia included residents:

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being left in faeces and urine, rough treatment, poor nutrition, inadequate pain relief, verbal abuse, and untreated broken bones and infections.

And further:

one woman has told the ABC that her grandmother, who survived Nazi concentration camps, believes her experiences in aged care are worse than her wartime ordeal.

Jane Green – daughter of former high intensity aged care resident Margaret McEvoy – recalled her own specific story to the ABC how, explaining how:

For five days, staff tried to make Ms McEvoy walk. In fact, she had an undiagnosed broken thigh bone, a raging infection, and severe dehydration.

The ABC further observed that: "Ms Green, who is also a nurse, had to fight to get her mother taken to hospital, where she was immediately put into palliative care. She died six weeks later."

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In a similar storynurse and health care lecturer Mardi Walker:

was horrified when she found her [91 year old] grandmother with exposed raw ear cartilage due to lack of turning, and one of her arms immobilised after staff botched injections.

She recalls that: "They would just keep injecting into the same spot and she would scream. My mother said it was horrific, because she would scream."

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About the Author

Tristan Ewins has a PhD and is a freelance writer, qualified teacher and social commentator based in Melbourne, Australia. He is also a long-time member of the Socialist Left of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). He blogs at Left Focus, ALP Socialist Left Forum and the Movement for a Democratic Mixed Economy.
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