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Abuse at an aged care facility

We’ve heard the recent and tragic story about what happened to Mr Hausler. ¬†Where a staff member from the Mitcham Residential Care Facility allegedly force fed, attempted to suffocate and otherwise abused the bed-ridden man, 89 years old and suffering from end-stage dementia.

This story has made all of us feel ill.

Why?

Because we are all humans. And we empathise with other humans, and understand that this could one day be our own mum or dad, or even us.

When the decision is made for mum or dad to move into care, it’s never easy, but there’s one thing we take comfort in; that they will receive just that, care.

When this care isn’t provided or isn’t up to scratch, we want answers, and want to make sure these horrible things never happen again, to anyone.

So what is the answer? Is it installing cameras into aged care facilities? And if so, should they be installed in all facilities and all rooms or just some facilities and some rooms? What if the resident disagrees, or their family, or the staff? Where do the privacy laws start and where do they end?

There are clearly questions that need to be debated, and laws that need reviewing.

There are also questions about who should be held accountable. In this case, the aged carer responsible, Corey Lucas, was convicted of aggravated assault. Naturally, the person responsible for such criminal acts should be held responsible, but what about the aged care facility? Are they negligent for employing these people or allowing these acts to occur in the first place?

When our fellow humans are harmed, particularly those that are vulnerable and reliant on our care, we want justice. Elder abuse is a real issue in our society, and together we need to watch out for our senior citizens, report our concerns, and seek change for the better.

For information about the story, please visit: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/secret-camera-captures-nursing-home-attempted-suffocation/7624770

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