Contributed by Ben Wilson
The nursing home scandal keeps on going. What is coming to light now is not new. Vulnerable Australians have been exploited and mistreated for years. However, this problem isn’t just happening in Australia. Globally, more and more senior people find themselves being subjected to nursing home abuse. This means there has been an increase in calls to people like a Denver elder law lawyer, or in whichever location, to help fight cases of mistreatment. This can be a terrifying experience for elderly people, which is why it’s so important that family members have some ideas about how to spot whether elder abuse is happening in front of them.
Scott Morrison, our current prime minister is personally benefiting. This is the reason why it has become a special problem for him, and to deflect attention, he has eventually tilted to an inquiry.
An inquiry is not needed. The situation calls for decisive action. There are so many claims being brought to legal professionals like nursing home abuse lawyer Gary Bruce, that it is close to becoming an epidemic. There should be a zero tolerance policy towards those who take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Older Australians who, as a rule, have made a lifetime contribution to the nation, have earned the right to be treated respectfully in their twilight years. This means that society has an obligation to provide the resources necessary to live properly and have a stimulating and meaningful life.
For a start. Nursing homes must be policed to ensure there is no abuse, that those in them are properly fed, and just as importantly, that every individual continues to have a meaningful life. Our older Australians should not be treated as a commodity to spend the least possible on and to squeeze the last cent out of and nursing homes that do not provide adequate resources should not be allowed to operate. Nursing home abuse needs to be tackled as soon as it is hinted within the institution. Understand that family members have a right to look at legal aid with a service similar to Lennon’s Solicitors in Buckinghamshire if harm should come to their loved ones. It is our responsibility to ensure that their loved ones have a good quality of life, and if we fail to do that, then there will be legal ramifications.
How many choose to end their life before their time, because they can find no escape from a life that has become so intolerable, that there is no point in continuing?
Fifteen years of research at Monash University found 3,000 preventable and premature deaths, according to Professor Joe Ibrahim. “All we’ve done is look at the tip of the iceberg,” he added. This is damning.
There will always be those who need intensive care. They have a right to Have their needs properly met. There are also many who would be much better off still connected to family and a community, to which they could continue to contribute. They end up in nursing homes, because of the lack of available resources to support them.
Keeping the bulk of older Australians in the community and valuing them as a national treasure of experience and knowledge to be passed on, would reduce the net cost on society.
But so long as they are regarded as a commodity to make a profit out of and the connection between owners of nursing homes and the political establishment remain, this is not going to happen.
A nursing home has become somewhere where you are parked to die. We should have never let it come to this. Australia must do much better than this.