"Rise in the presence of the aged, and show respect for the elderly."



GOVERNMENT report has revealed a huge rise in cases of abuse

and mistreatment of the elderly in nursing homes.

Figures obtained for the first time from the industry watchdog show the

number of care breaches tripled to almost 4000 in the six months to January.

Cases investigated include allegations of serious physical assault,

medical mismanagement and failed personal care.

There were 418 sexual and physical assaults on elderly people

Details of nursing home accreditation breaches have never before been

made public, with the former Howard government refusing to release the

damaging information.

The report reveals there were 332 reports of medication management issues

where elderly residents were administered an overdose, not given enough

pain relief or given incorrect medication.

Police investigated 23 incidents in aged care homes last year, with

seven cases referred to the coroner, two to the Nurses Board and 101 to

the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA).

In response, new Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot said the Government would

introduce increased police checks on all staff employed at nursing homes and

aged care facilities. .

She also pledged to give the ACSAA more powers, after finding it was not an

offence for nursing homes to mislead the agency.

“We have a responsibility to care for our nation’s frail and aged,” she said.

Previously, nursing homes could hide problems because permission from a

provider was required before a government minister could visit a nursing home.

The report found there were 3947 potential breaches in aged care providers’

responsibilities across Australia from July 1 to December 31 2007.

Adapted from the Sunday Telegraph, Sydney Australia, March 23, 2008