Older Australians are being ripped off by home care providers charging for services they have not delivered, the aged care royal commission has heard.
The commission is sitting in Mudgee in the Central West region of New South Wales, investigating the shortfalls and challenges in aged care in rural, regional and remote areas.
Sue Dunlop, 72, gave evidence this morning and said her battles with chronic pain have left her with little mobility.
“It is so hard when you can’t get any help,” she said.
“There are other people out there on farms who can’t move.”
Mrs Dunlop lives on a property in rural New South Wales with her husband and was receiving several hours of assistance each week when the service suspended her care, saying carers could no longer access her property.
Mrs Dunlop’s husband Phillip said despite this, the provider kept charging for visits.
“These additional charges appeared on the account,” he said.
“If we hadn’t spotted them, they would have just stayed there. It’s not right.
“There would be a lot of people out there who wouldn’t be scanning their account and noticing that there had been additional charges added for no reason.”
The Dunlops explained their confusion at being told unexpectedly care would be cut off and said the access reasons the provider gave did not make sense.
Mrs Dunlop broke down while describing her wish to remain in her home.
“I was getting into a bigger mess,” she told the commission.
“I couldn’t look after any of the animals outside or do anything.
“I love it on the farm, I don’t want to move.
“I would hate to be in a nursing home. It’s not home.”
The royal commission’s Mudgee hearing will wrap up tomorrow with evidence from federal and New South Wales government health officials.