News outlets are reporting that a federal investigation is underway after an alleged incident that is believed to have occurred at a nursing home in the South Australian town of Strathalbyn.

The incident, which is said to have occurred on the evening of February 27, involved two aged care residents, one of whom is a woman living with advanced dementia. 

According to reports, the woman was reported missing from her room by staff members before being found naked in the room of a male resident who has a history of sexually inappropriate behaviour. 

It is believed when the woman was found, the room she was in was barricaded shut with a wheelchair and a table blocking the entrance.

7NEWS has reported that the elderly woman is the mother of an Australian sporting identity and that the woman’s family is demanding answers from the home about exactly what happened.

Police have interviewed staff about the incident but say no intervention was required, however, the incident is now under investigation by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, shared her thoughts on the incident with HelloCare earlier today. 

“The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission takes the safety, health, well-being, and quality of life of aged care consumers very seriously,” said Ms Anderson. 

“The Commission received a compulsory report from Estia Health Strathalbyn and is currently seeking additional information from the approved provider about this report.”

“The Commission has also recently undertaken an unannounced assessment contact at Estia Health Strathalbyn to assess compliance with requirements under the Aged Care Quality Standards.”

“The outcome of this monitoring visit is yet to be finalised.”

“Whenever information is made available to us, which may be through reportable assaults, complaints or other sources, this information, as well as the provider’s response to the incident, is evidenced and considered in determining our regulatory responses.”

“Due to privacy considerations, the Commission does not make information public about individual care recipients.”

Under current laws, approved aged care providers must report every allegation or suspicion of a reportable assault to both the local police and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission within 24 hours. 

The compulsory reporting requirements are clear and encompass unlawful sexual contact with a resident of an aged care service or unreasonable use of force on a resident of an aged care service.

Further information on compulsory reporting is available on the Commission’s website.


Photo Credit: iStock – Heiko119

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