Media Release – 6500 Reports of Distressed and Neglected Aged Care Residents

Aged Care Watch submitted 6,500 reports of aged care residents left neglected and distressed to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on Wednesday 27 April 2022. This was first reported in The Guardian.

As set out in the Guardian article, an astounding 2,300 reports involved a “distressed resident”, 1,900 identify a resident left soiled for an “extended period” and 600 describe a resident suffering injury due to lack of care.

“This is a heartbreaking and unacceptable state of affairs,” said ALARM chair Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC. “Every single Australian needs to hear these statistics and feel the pain of these victims of aged care homes. Until that happens the situation is not going to improve. Next week it could be your mother, father, neighbour or friend. In years to come, it could be you.”

Dr Keon-Cohen established ALARM to educate residents of aged care and their families and friends on their rights and to ensure that they have access to legal support. “I created ALARM because it was clear that residents either don’t know their rights or are too scared to do anything about their mistreatment and neglect. For example, someone who believes they have been injured due to lack of care can understandably be scared to speak up because they are living at the mercy of the people mistreating them. That is simply not acceptable in 2022.”

ALARM encourages injured aged care residents and their friends and families to contact ALARM. If appropriate, ALARM will then connect that person with a suitable experienced and empathetic lawyer to assist. ALARM is appalled by these reports. Such treatment of aged care residents will not stop unless we take action for victims. “We are all responsible,” said Dr Keon-Cohen. “If you know a resident of an aged care home, ask them if they are alright. Make sure that they know they can expect proper care and that they do not have to live in fear. If they have a concern contact ALARM and we will refer them to a lawyer who can tell them if there are legal avenues of redress available. The sooner we hold these homes to account the sooner we will ensure people in aged care homes do not have to live in distress.”