The truth about what happens to people who die in nursing homes
A former nursing home is struggling to pay its bills as its residents die, with many struggling to get by on social housing and a lack of other support.
Key points:The ABC has been investigating what happens when people who have died in Australia’s nursing homes end up in hospitalsThe ABC’s investigation found a “toxic mix of grief and anger” at the hospital where they diedThe ABC interviewed residents, nursing home staff, the hospital and the state health department about their experienceLiving in the hospital is a “worse place than you would think” for the elderly, according to one former resident.
In the past year, dozens of nursing homes have lost their registered nurses, their home health workers, their doctors and even their senior managers.
One of the most famous deaths occurred in May this year, when a nursing home resident died in a nursing facility.
The ABC was told that a woman who worked at the nursing home in the city of Wollongong had recently had her own daughter moved out to a new home.
The family had been living in a house in nearby Adelaide, but when the family moved to Wollongs Lakes in April, they discovered that the new home was not ready for their daughter.
“We were told that we could not move because it was too new,” said the woman.
She said that although she was devastated by the news, she did not think her daughter’s death would have been different.
“I was angry, I was upset.
I didn’t want her to be in the care that I was in, so I was a bit upset,” she said.
The hospital had not yet completed its internal audit of the home, which had been completed before the nursing facility was closed.
In March, a state health agency also found that the home was operating as a “high risk” facility.
The State Health Service has now said it has launched an independent review of all nursing home care.
In its internal report, the agency found that staff at the Wollooong home had been told by management that “the home was the safest place to live” but that it was “not meeting standards for care”.
“There was no evidence of a nursing staff-led process to identify risk factors and take appropriate action,” the report said.
“Staff were also told that there were no existing nursing home residents who needed to be assessed or cared for.”
The agency also said that “staff were unaware of the fact that some of the residents were in care at the time of the death”.
The state’s health department said that the nursing agency has now conducted an independent investigation into the nursing care at Wolloos Lakes.
“Our investigation has found there are a number of issues that we need to look at to ensure that the health and safety of our residents is protected,” the health department’s deputy secretary, Dr Fiona Todman, said.
While the state’s investigation into nursing homes has yet to be completed, the Department of Health said that it would look into the conditions at the facility to determine if it has any deficiencies.
“The state will be looking at the health, safety and wellbeing of the community and the families that live there,” Dr Todmans said.
Topics:health,nursing,health-policy,australia,adelaide-5000,wollongongs-4810,vic,nsw,melbourne-3000,vicFirst posted March 13, 2019 08:54:58Contact Paul AitchisonMore stories from South Australia