An Orange aged care facility will be investigated following claims staff left an elderly woman to sit in a dirty nappy, and neglected to clean her false teeth for so long that they turned green.
Orange MP Phil Donato asked Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck to launch the investigation after hearing the claims made on Steve Price's Australia Today radio program last week.
A caller named Sue described the shocking state she found her mother in at the Orange facility after not being able to visit for two months due to COVID.
"I walked in the room and it smelt, she had a dirty nappy on," she said.
"She had conjunctivitis in her eyes and one eye was all closed up.
"Her mouth was all dry there was no cup there to give her a drink of water.
"When I rang the buzzer to get someone to clean her up and nobody came."
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After being told there was a change of shift, she continued to wait, and claims her mother then wet herself with urine leaking onto her clothes and the chair.
When staff finally arrived to assess her mother they said she was in such a bad state they would have to bath her.
Sue said on another occasion her mother's mouth was covered in thrush, but when she sought help from a nurse on the desk, she was told nothing could be done and they'd have to wait for a doctor.
Later, while attempting to clean her mother's mouth, she and her daughter-in-law had to 'pry out' her false teeth, and because they hadn't been cleaned 'they were green underneath.'
Mr Donato said he'd since spoken 'at length' to Sue about the claims, which he described as 'extremely distressing and disturbing.'
Sue also told him her mother had been left to feed herself, but unable to use utensils, had been forced to use her hands. Another time, she'd had a fall that resulted in a broken hip and shattered shoulder blade.
The incident with the soiled nappy was the 'straw that broke the camel's back,' Mr Donato said, and Sue had since moved her mother to another facility her family were 'much more comfortable with.'
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Following his representations to Minister Colbeck earlier last week, Mr Donato says further action will be taken.
"She (Sue) got a phone call from one of the minister's staff on Wednesday afternoon and they will be commencing an investigation into it."
The facility has not been named.
Mr Donato said he was not aware of any other complaints about the facility.
Mr Donato told the Australia Today program that while he was sure the overwhelming majority of aged care facilities in Orange were doing "an outstanding job", this case was "totally unacceptable".
"In my view if this is happening they need to be censured very seriously.
"We're talking about seniors in the twilight of their lives who should be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
"It makes you wonder how many other people out there across Australia or NSW... during this COVID period, where they haven't been able to go and visit their family and loved ones in these aged care facilities, how many stories like this are there out there."
"It shouldn't be happening in this day and age."
A spokesperson from Mr Colbeck's office confirmed the minister was aware of the complaints and had referred the matter to the Aged Care and Quality and Safety Commission to investigate.
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