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Alarm At Complaints Of Rest Home Abuse

Age Concern Alarmed At Complaints Of Rest Home Abuse

“Our frailest and most vulnerable older people have the right to high quality care and dignity in residential care. While Age Concern knows that most rest homes provide excellent care, sadly some do not,” says Garth Taylor, Age Concern New Zealand chief executive.

Age Concern is alarmed at the growing number of complaints about rest home care it is receiving from its local Age Concerns offices in many parts of the country. These complaints include physical, verbal and psychological abuse of residents by fellow residents, and by staff.

Age Concern Elder Abuse and Neglect Services have also reported increasing incidents of active neglect of older people in residential care. Common issues are insufficient or poor quality food, and the reduction or withdrawal of basic care necessities such as sanitary items. Concerns have also been raised about the imposition of rigid routines, such as being woken at 5 am to be showered and dressed to fit in with staff rosters.

“It seems that rest home staff are often poorly trained, poorly paid and unable to provide proper care,” says Mr Taylor. “The Ministry of Health appears to be slow to address these issues.

“Age Concern supports the call of Alzheimer’s NZ for an inquiry into the standard of care in rest homes and dementia units. It appears that our health system is failing many frail and vulnerable older people.

“I believe that Age Concern has a vital role in monitoring health and residential care services and their impact on older people. Our organisation welcomes any opportunity to participate in an inquiry into the residential care sector.”


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