Bundaberg, Queensland has their fair share of controversies in terms of aged care. And not just for one facility.
Not long ago Blue Care’s Bundaberg facility was in trouble for after a spot inspection revealed 19 issues – including failing to respond to a resident’s cries for help and failing to feed or underfeeding residents.
And TriCare’s facility were accused of neglect and understaffing.
Because of this, Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia have moved an advocate to the area to support residents and their families who have issues with their providers.
CEO, Geoff Rowe advises the elderly and their families to “speak out, speak up” and lets them know that ADAA are available to help.
“If they’ve got concerns around aged care there are a number of options for people to make contact with regards to those concerns,” he told News Mail.
The ADAA aim to speak and work on the behalf of the elderly. This is a positive move for the aged care sector as these advocates are looking to improve the care that residents receive. No one needs to settle for poor care and feeling helping to do anything about it.
“People can access us and I encourage people to do that,” he said.
“If their concerns are serious then we’ll help people to escalate them. As a starting point we’re more than happy to provide services,” he said.
“We’re absolutely an advocate for the elderly. It’s really important for people to understand that just because they’re in aged care doesn’t mean they don’t have rights.”
The issues seen in Bundaberg are no exclusive to them alone, residents all around Australia face issues of poor care, poor food quality, neglect, medication mismanagement and various other issues.
One of the biggest challenges for vulnerable residents is that they are not aware of what to do should they have issues with their providers.
The first step is to say something to a staff member or a manager at the facility, and to see if they can manage the issue internally.
“A lot of providers welcome feedback about their services but not all do.”
“For many [residents], they are fearful and fearful of retribution,” he said.
If that does not lead to a positive outcomes, there are advocacy groups like the Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia, as well the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner who can help.
If resident are facing serious abuse, and are being harmed, it’s essential to call the police.
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