Jun 7, 2018

Custodial Neglect

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ABC reported the horrific neglect suffered by Val Simpson, a nursing home resident at The Tinonee Gardens The Multicultural Village, because of cost-cutting and under-staffing in the facility.  To the facility’s credit, it has acknowledged it failed Simpson, who was in its care before she died last year.  The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency said the home’s failures at the time placed, or may have placed, the safety, health or well-being of residents at risk.

Ms Simpson’s daughter Sharon Dodd said remembering her mother’s last days was almost too hard to bear.  “Just the level of neglect and watching mum being in a bed of urine and faeces … the placement certainly didn’t provide her with the care she deserved,” Ms Dodd said.  Staff at Tinonee have told the ABC incontinence pads were limited to three residents per day and nappy rash cream always needed to be on hand.

Ms Simpson’s lack of oral care was also upsetting. Her mouth was at times dry, cracked and shrivelled with filth.

A close-up of an old woman's dehydrated mouth.
“It was really shrivelled up and she had lots of things that looked like warts on her tongue,” Ms Dodd said.  “She could hardly respond to me because her mouth was so dry.”

Her granddaughter, Kelsey Moss said she had been horrified by what she had seen.  “There was food left in her mouth and she was left to try and swallow on her own … the outcome could have been much worse,” Ms Moss said.  “She was thirsty, wanting to go to the toilet, never hungry, but definitely neglected there.”

Ms Dodd said her mother had been in so much agony, staff put her behaviour down to anger management problems, before giving her a sedative.  “If they knew anything about UTIs and how they change your personality, they would have known she had a UTI, instead of the anger issues,” she said.

Simpson also suffered regular falls while she was at Tinonee, which left her family concerned about unexplained bruising.

She also went missing one cold winter’s night, and was discovered hours later on all fours, disoriented in the home’s garbage collection area.

“It wasn’t until the kitchen staff came out and put the garbage away that they knew Mum was out there, not even knowing how to stand up,” Ms Dodd said.



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Abuse and Neglect · Staffing · Trial themes

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