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AustraliaDarwin woman breaks down telling aged care royal commission of father's treatment

12:22  12 july  2019
12:22  12 july  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Darwin woman breaks down telling aged care royal commission of father's treatment© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Jo-Ann Lovegrove says her father's health has taken a turn for the worse since he was admitted. (Supplied: Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety)

Jo-Ann Lovegrove's father just wanted to find a place where he could smoke and keep his dog.

Instead, the 79-year-old dementia patient's indefinite stay in a Darwin aged care centre has allegedly been marked by unchecked injuries, aggravation and oversedation.

After three days of hearing horror aged care stories from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety today turned the spotlight back to the Northern Territory.

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During a tearful account of her father's treatment, Ms Lovegrove said her father's health had deteriorated rapidly in just over six months since he was referred to the centre.

"Dad has dramatically declined and it breaks my heart to see this once fit, active, kind gentleman left in his bed or princess chair, confused, lonely and fading fast," Ms Lovegrove said.

"I want to see my dad cared for and looked after by staff of the Darwin facility the way he should be."

She alleged the Darwin facility — which she did not name — had put her father on heavy sedatives without first alerting her.

"It is concerning that the doctor does not seek my authorisation," she said.

"… I am disturbed by the amount of time he now spends in bed, I can't help but feel this [medicating] suits the staff of the Darwin facility more than it suits my dad."

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In her evidence, Ms Lovegrove spoke of visiting her father one day, and finding him "covered in bandages all over his body and dried blood on his face".

On another day she said she found him soaked in his own urine.

"I am concerned as to the length of time it takes staff members to care for my dad after these incidents," Ms Lovegrove said.

Testimony wraps in Darwin, heads to Cairns

The testimony wrapped up five days of commission hearings in Darwin.

It also ended a week of scandal for the sector, which included stories of maggots being found in an elderly woman's wound in a Melbourne aged care centre to the sudden, dramatic closure of one on the Gold Coast.

Earlier in the week there was a day of evidence given relating to the lack of resources allocated to the remote Northern Territory.

The commission juggernaut now heads to Cairns, in Far North Queensland, where it will hear from witnesses affected, along with experts from across the health sphere.

Among those taking to the stand will be aged care facility NewDirection, the Dieticians Association of Australia and celebrated chef and restauranteur Maggie Beer.

Read more

Family's fury over nursing home's treatment of mum.
The family of a dementia patient who was evacuated along with more than 70 other high-care elderly residents during the Earle Haven crisis are calling for the people responsible to be held accountable. Michael Irvine, whose mother Veronica was a resident at Earle Haven Retirement Village, told A Current Affair he is shocked by what happened and claimed he didn’t receive a phone call from the facility to say his mother was being moved. “All I knew was that the staff had left … the police were in there and the ambulance, that’s all I knew,” Mr Irvine said.

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