I read recently Starts at 60’s stories about the prime minister’s announcement that there is set to be a royal commission into aged care. I’ve been working in the aged care industry for approximately five years and, having worked in a a number of different aged care homes, I know that there are definitely homes out there that need the spotlight turned on them.
I know of many well-trained, good nurses in the industry, however, there are still some nurses in these facilities who need further training. I feel that those nurses who are negatively affecting aged care could be power hungry.
In my experience, when working with dementia patients there is no one around to monitor how a nurse is treating the patient, and it is the dementia patients who I consider to be the most vulnerable when cared for by an ill-trained nurse. I’m aware of situations where, having spoken up about possible elder abuse, the response from management has been: ‘Oh, that patient has dementia’.
I have made reports where I’ve learned dementia sufferers have not been showered every day, and at most have only received a shower one to two times a week; have not had their beds changed on a regular basis; and have not had their incontinence aids changed for long periods of time, all while senior nurses find such behaviour acceptable. My complaints were never taken any further. Bullying has been rampant in some of these aged care facilities and the unprofessional behaviour goes all the way up the chain.
This royal commission needs to happen, if only to uncover all the nursing homes who are doing the wrong thing. Make management accountable for all the wrong-doing. Everyone in aged care deserves to be treated better than what they currently are. If families knew what was really happening behind the closed doors…