Gold Coast aged-care patients in limbo

Gold Coast aged-care patients in limbo


National News
Lorraine Cook (L) says her husband John (R) is distressed after being moved from his aged care home.

Lorraine Cook (L) says her husband John (R) is distressed after being moved from his aged care home.

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It was meant to be a safe place that cared for her husband when she no longer could. But Lorraine Cook says her elderly and frail husband John is distressed a...

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It was meant to be a safe place that cared for her husband when she no longer could.

But Lorraine Cook says her elderly and frail husband John is distressed and living in limbo after he was suddenly taken from his room at a Gold Coast aged-care home.

"I have really no idea what's going to happen," she said.

John has lived at the Earle Haven Retirement Village at Nerang for more than two years as a high-care patient suffering from dementia, diabetes and pressure sores caused by his inability to walk.

The 83-year-old was among dozens of residents who were woken and evacuated on Thursday night during the height of a financial dispute between the owner of the village, People Care, and contractor HelpStreet.

He is now being cared for in a nearby facility that Ms Cook, 73, says is crowded and not giving her husband the level of care he needs.

She doesn't know how long he will be there, and fears she will be crippled by the cost of transport if he is moved further away from her home.

"They really haven't told us much at all, except that it would be 24 to 48 hours until it would all be sorted, but that was yesterday," Ms Cook added.

She wants John to be returned to his bed at Earle Haven, even after lodging official complaints about the slipping state of his care.

"They were getting chicken that wasn't cooked properly, it was still pink, fish that wasn't cooked properly, burnt bits of pizza, not enough to feed a cat," she said.

In the hours before residents were evacuated, Ms Cook says HelpStreet removed food, medication, patient records, computers, furniture and even pots and pans from the premises.

The federal government has promised a full investigation into the facility's owner and the contractor.

People Care says it chose to terminate its contract with HelpStreet, which in turn claims People Care failed to pay it for its services.

Australian Associated Press

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