Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Aussie Dream Sours for Our Older Residents

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Aussie Dream Sours for Our Older Residents

Article excerpt

Byline: GUEST COLUMNIST RITA PANAHI

IF YOU live in Australia you've won the lottery of life.

I've said that many a time but, sadly, for an increasing number of elderly people the Australian dream turns into a nightmare in their twilight years.

The most liveable status of our capital cities doesn't mean much when you are being fed slop, lying in your own filth and suffering because of substandard pain management.

This is the lot of older Australians who have been let down by aged-care facilities where vulnerable residents are subjected to terrible conditions.

John Callaghan's family entrusted a Bupa facility on the Gold Coast to take care of the retired entrepreneur as he battled cancer. What they didn't expect was to find their loved one in terrible pain with maggots crawling out of his ear.

His widow, Fay, says he begged to be moved from the facility saying ''this is a terrible place it's dreadful, they don't look after you please get me out". Mr Callaghan died at a nearby hospice days after being moved.

A nurse who worked at the same Bupa facility told News Corp that patients were showered only once a week and some were left in their own waste due to rationing of incontinence pads.

Why are our elderly who have worked hard, paid taxes and contributed to the country denigrated in their final months and years? When you put a loved one in an aged-care facility you expect they'll be safe, cared for and treated with dignity.

However, the reality is very different for many families who have been left devastated by what their family members have endured including Kathy Danvers-Baker who found her father semiconscious, dehydrated and in distress at a Bupa nursing home in Eden.

John Danvers, a retired farmer is lucky to be alive.

"I found him passed out and thought he was deceased," Ms Danvers-Baker said. …

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