Nursing homes at breaking point, says report


The figures, contained in the 2008-09 Report of the Operation of the Aged Care Act, have alarmed aged-care staff, lobby groups and providers.

“It’s a sign of a system under pressure,” Australian Nursing Federation secretary Ged Kearney said.

“There are some awful stories coming out and it’s very alarming.

“If there was adequate staffing, if there were adequate numbers of qualified staff, if the workloads were reasonable and manageable, these incidents could be prevented.”

The Dietitians Association of Australia reported last week that one in two aged-care residents was malnourished, putting them at a higher risk of falls and fractures.

Lynda Saltarelli, a spokeswoman for independent watchdog Aged Care Crisis, said standards are in constant decline.

“There is evidence that residents of aged-care facilities regularly go without proper pain relief and palliative care,” she said.