Wontama residents feel the heat

WITH temperatures in Orange soaring above 30 degrees, dementia patients in UnitingCare Wontama’s Kallara ward have been forced to go without airconditioning for more than six weeks.

Family members have purchased fans in an attempt to ease conditions.

UnitingCare’s management confirmed residents and their carers had expressed concern over the situation but blame technical difficulties with the installation of a new airconditioning unit for the problem.

One woman, who declined to be named, said she visited the ward more than once a day for more than a year to see a family member, and described the conditions there as “dreadful”.

She said the temperature gauge frequently rose above 30 degrees inside the nursing home.

Despite UnitingCare’s management saying the airconditioner had been broken since early December, she said it had not worked properly for at least a year.

“It was supposed to be fixed before Christmas, I’m very angry about this for the residents’ sake,” she said.

“Staff aren’t coping with the heat either and they’re all complaining about it among themselves, but they say their hands are tied.

“The people who live there have dementia, some of them don’t know how to complain.”

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