A 92-year-old woman with dementia was discovered performing a sex act in a man’s room at a rural NSW aged care home accused of neglecting its residents.
Jemalong Residential Village at Forbes in the state’s central west has been sanctioned by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission after it failed 37 out of 42 standards.
Cynthia West was among the relatives of residents who have criticised the quality of care being provided.
Her 92-year-old mother now has advanced dementia and Ms West is her legal guardian.
The family became concerned when a male resident, whose room was across the hall, started showing persistent interest in their mother.
They say their repeated pleas to staff to have their mother moved to another room and ensure the pair was not left alone together were ignored.
Ms West was then told by staff of an incident after her mother was allowed into the man’s room.
“She played up and because they don’t have the knowledge of how to handle people with someone with dementia, the decision was taken upon themselves to take her around to his room for 10 minutes,” Ms West said.
“When they went to get her she was performing a sexual act and they took her back to her room.
“That floored us, I thought mum is in there for protection and care.
“My brother was in tears, my children were very upset.”
Ms West said the management apologised for what happened and assured her it would investigate.
She said little was done.
The ABC has spoken to several families who are appalled by the care given to their loved ones.
Rebecca Duncan’s grandmother recently suffered a heart attack while showering at Jemalong Residential Village, and said the response was woeful.
“She was told she needed to finish the shower herself, that the staff were too busy and that she was not to fall,” Ms Duncan said.
Her grandmother has since returned to the Village after being treated in a Sydney hospital.
“She was unable to get the care and assistance that she needed, she was missing medication, she was missing meals, she was dehydrated,” Ms Duncan said.
“This is literally a matter of life or death, there are people up there who are very unwell.
“We have raised concerns over many months to a year … and they’ve been ignored.”
Garry Miller was another Forbes resident who was alarmed by the care given to his elderly mother.
“The staff are terrific but (they’re) understaffed and inexperienced,” Mr Miller said.
His mother suffered skin tears and bruising to her arms and was taken to Forbes Hospital.
“The paramedics were very concerned about the impact on the arms from the bruising and why it was like that,” Mr Miller said.
She later died in hospital.
The Catholic Healthcare Jemalong Residential Village Performance Report drew the following conclusions:
“Consumers (residents) have not received clinical care that is best practice and optimises their health and wellbeing.
“Consumers have been been assaulted by other consumers and behaviour management strategies have not been developed to minimise the risk of reoccurrence.”
In a statement, Catholic Healthcare said it had taken several steps to improve services at the Village, including hiring more registered nurses.
“We are deeply disappointed and sorry that our care did not meet our standards,” the statement said.
“We are committed to ensuring Jemalong is delivering the highest quality care every day, and will re-double our efforts to achieve this.”
The Commission said the Village would not receive further Federal funding until January 2021 and had ordered an advisor be appointed to help it comply with its responsibilities.
It says it will consider further regulatory action if it has ongoing concerns about care and services.