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Cases ‘tip of iceberg’ at aged care home

Incidents involving two elderly residents were "the tip of the iceberg", a royal commission has heard. Photo: Getty
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Hidden camera footage shows staff handling a Melbourne aged care resident roughly, berating him, swearing at him and telling the Parkinson’s disease sufferer to stop moving, a royal commission has been told.

The aged care royal commission is examining the treatment of the man at one of Menarock Life’s facilities, as well as an elderly woman who ended up in hospital with a broken hip and was slapped by a staff member.

“Their matters were the tip of the iceberg,” counsel assisting the commission Paul Bolster said on Tuesday.

“The care of numerous residents was inadequate.”

The Greenway Gardens facility was sanctioned in February this year after there was deemed to be an immediate and severe risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of residents.

The sanction was lifted in July after an adviser was appointed and the home agreed to provide the relevant training for its staff to meet residents’ needs.

Mr Bolster detailed numerous incidents in the care of the elderly man, identified only as Mr UG, who died in November last year.

Video footage showed that in the week he died, one staff member tried to move Mr UG on their own using a stand-up lifting machine when it required the assistance of two people.

“Mr UG appeared to collapse and be unresponsive,” Mr Bolster said.

“The staff member lifted him up by the shirt to the bed, tapped his face, called his name, asked if he was alright, commented that he was not right when he was unresponsive, put him back to bed, changed his continence aid and turned him.”

No other staff assessed his condition, Mr Bolster said.

Two of Mr UG’s daughters tearfully told the inquiry about his treatment.

Sandra Nisi said her father had dementia but told them “that nurse slapped me” and that he was shaken and pushed up against the wall, prompting the family to install the hidden camera in his room.