Negligent Care Within Aged Care Facilities All Too Common

By Catherine Henry [1]

WARNING TO READERS WHO ARE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER. This story talks about people who have died.

We acted for the daughter and granddaughter of a man (Mr W) who died as a result of the negligent care he received at an aged cared facility in Parramatta, New South Wales.

In the year Mr W was resident in the facility, he suffered from a significant deterioration in his condition. The man died within 12 months of becoming a resident.

After repeated requests from the family, the man was transferred to hospital where he was diagnosed with several complications, including dehydration and a lower respiratory infection. By this time, it was too late, and the much-loved father and grandfather died several days later.

We alleged that the aged care facility failed to provide Mr W with meals of pureed food and assist him with feeding; failed to ensure that Mr W was hydrated and failed to diagnose and treat his respiratory tract infection, eventually leading to his death.

Our client was not notified of her grandfather’s deteriorating health and was only made aware when she telephoned the service herself and was told that he had been unwell for some weeks. The family repeatedly expressed their concerns regarding the health of their family member and their concerns were largely ignored or met by indirect answers.

The man’s granddaughter expressed her grief over the negligent acts of the aged facility, stating: “I felt Pop was getting starved to death, and he looked like it. When I walked in there, it was like he was already dead, laying on the bed. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did,” she said.

An investigation into the death found that the care was grossly inadequate, and our clients were able to achieve a successful outcome.

Unfortunately, negligent care administered by aged care facilities is all too common.

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Sources:

[1] Health & Aged Care Lawyer, Principal, Catherine Henry Lawyers Pty Limited, Sydney; ALARM Volunteer Consultant.

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author. The contents of this article are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. If you are in need of legal advice and/or assistance about aged care matters, please seek legal advice directly or via ALARM’s GET HELP form on its website: www.alarm.org.au.