The Beagle Editor, This is my darling mum, Phyllis, she had dementia and died in March 2012.
Her aged care facility did not care about her.
Food is a very important part of care, and often the only thing residents have to look forward to, for many it's the focus of their day. The facility served food that she and others found unpalatable and inedible, cheap junk food, hot food often served cold AND badly cooked to boot! At times she’d go without anything from midday till 8am the next day - that’s 20 hours without food. And she would have starved if I hadn’t intervened, Mum feared complaining because she’d be told off like a child and once was slapped by a staff member.
When I complained, the aged care facility threatened me with an intervention order and ten years jail for stalking. And when I spoke out about THAT, people got in touch sharing horror stories of neglect and abuse and thanked me for speaking out – the common thread was shortage of staff and inadequate basic care leading to neglect.
Many of the elderly and their families won’t complain for fear of retribution. This is when I realised the lack of staff ratios was a huge problem. With no mandated staff / resident ratios in aged care facilities across Australia, our elders are at risk of abuse and neglect.
What I see is a system that needs changing. Over-worked staff are stressed and undervalued.
In many aged care homes, one staff member can care for 20 or more residents with residents waiting for long periods to receive the care they urgently need by overstretched carers and nurses who feel that they can never get the job done.
I have started a petition to be sent to Ken Wyatt, Minister for Health and Aged Care asking, "if you really care about elderly Australians mandate staff/resident ratios for all aged care facilities across Australia, to protect our elders, to keep them safe, respected and valued." It warms my heart that so many individuals have already signed the petition and I'm thrilled when the business community becomes involved by signing and sharing with their staff and followers. To the best of my knowledge Homely.com.au is the first business to do so. I thank them. I urge others to take their lead. As we know, correct ratios are vitally important for the care of the elderly no matter what the government or the industry tell us. Sedating residents making them easier to manage has been going on for years and continues today because of inadequate training and staffing levels. Please see attached article by Dr Sarah Russell. If you could please share the petition again with your friends, family and workplace that would be excellent. Do it for the elderly in care and also for OUR future.
I extend an invitation to your readers to add their name to the petition. JANE SEAHOLME