Aged facility was 'ill-prepared for death'

End of life not managed well at some facilities, aged care royal commission told

Aged Care Royal Commission
The aged care royal commission has been told that some facilities don't manage the end of life well.

The aged care royal commission has been told that some facilities don't manage the end of life well.

Aa

Aged care royal commission has been told that some facilities don't manage the end of life well.

Aa

CATHERINE Davis assumed death would be part of an aged care facility's core business.

But she found staff were "woefully ill-prepared" for her mother's final days.

Ms Davis said staff at the residential aged care facility in Canberra did not recognise her mother was in the end stage of her life.

"I feel like the facility was not equipped at all," she told the aged care royal commission on Wednesday.

"I think we all assume that a core business for an aged care business is death.

"It might be okay if you just passed away in your sleep but if you have any kind of extended death they are just woefully ill-prepared, in my experience."

Ms Davis said there are not enough trained staff in residential aged care facilities who are equipped at managing end-of-life situations.

A specialist palliative care nurse helped Ms Davis' mother Noeline Taylor and the family before the 83-year-old died in a hospice in August 2015.

"The care provided was so professional, it was directed at an actively dying person and was instrumental in ensuring Mum died free of pain and suffering," Ms Davis said.

A current aged care resident told the royal commission about his difficulties in accessing medical care for his health problems.

Hamish MacLeod has to walk 650 metres to see his local doctor and take public transport to see specialists, a trip that takes about one-and-a-half hours.

"I think that it should be easier to access quality GPs and specialists," the 74-year-old said in a statement to the royal commission.

"I think that it should be easier to get quality health care within residential aged care facilities."

Health problems prevented Mr MacLeod giving evidence in person at the Canberra hearing.

A number of aged care providers are being quizzed at the hearing about their role in helping residents get the health services they need.

Australian Associated Press

For more stories from The Senior on the aged care royal commission click HERE

Aa