Staff who treat the aged with love and respect

Letter, The Age, 2 November 2019

After reading the Aged Care Royal Commissioner’s heart breaking interim report, I realise how lucky my parents were to find an aged care home where the staff treated them with kindness and respect – and who had time to care, chat/laugh with them and take an interest in their lives.

We found the aged care home by luck. It was the only aged care home in their area that allowed them to sleep together.

Could the good aged care home providers please stand up and be counted? Now more than ever, the public needs to know you exist.

Preventable nursing home deaths surge

The Age, Michael Bachelard

Sarah Russell’s mother, Joan, died in a nursing home in September 2015. She believes the death was premature.

“When my mother was engaged, she was terrific. When she was alone and not engaged, she’d suffer anxiety … [and] she would get up and walk,” Dr Russell, a public health researcher, said.

Dr Russell gave up work to look after her, but she could not be there at all times, so she attached a note to her mother’s walking frame to warn the personal care assistants at the aged care facility not to leave her walker within reach.

One day, in the dining room after lunch, they did.

“She got up and walked, fell over. She didn’t break her hip, but she did damage her ribs, and six weeks later she was dead. The GP made the connection between the fall and her decline … I think the fall hastened her death.”

Sarah Russell’s Mum June died after a fall in a nursing home. The proteas are from her Mum’s favourite tree in their Mt Martha beach house. She’s an aged care activist. Photo: PENNY STEPHENS. The Age. 27TH MAY 2017

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