Many nursing homes residents have been found to be malnourished, and some are even being abused.
They're the places where our parents and grandparents are supposed to be cared for in their final years.
But in every city, in every state, neglect is at epidemic levels.More stories from Today Tonight
It starts from front security which, for these vulnerable patients, is almost non-existent.
Home after home is ‘access all areas’ making it easy to get to patients’ most valuable possessions.
Returning to see the same woman in a home which Today Tonight highlighted a year ago, it becomes clear that nothing has changed.
Other places are happy to hand out access codes which allow unidentified visitors in at any time of the night or day.
Now however an insider has revealed something even more shocking. In an industry which has largely been privatized, profit is being put before patients, as residents are literally being starved.
Nutritionist Tina Taylor has recreated the menus from a nursing home and compares them to a starvation diet.
“Tiny quantity, tiny serving, high salt, high in additives. The sausage meat really should be thrown in the bin,” Taylor said.
And it's common across the country. The Department of Health and Ageing website shows nursing home after nursing caught out for not feeding residents, dehydrating them, and not caring for wounds properly.
Karen Smith is a former nursing assistant, turned whistleblower in an industry she says is riddled with abuse.
She now campaigns for families whose loved ones have been neglected.
Some of the reports she's received include a letter from Mary^ who says her 80-year-old father is trapped in appalling conditions due to a family dispute.
Michael O’Neill, CEO of National Seniors Australia says recent Government reforms have come a long way. However many still fail to meet the standards, and O’Neill says it is essential to complain.
“Raise them with the aged care home if you feel comfortable, but I think more importantly raise them with the Department,” he said.
However it was complaining that cost Karen Smith her job. She is still fighting for reinstatement to a job she cares so much about.Contact details
- National Seniors Australia - www.nationalseniors.com.au
- Aged Care Australia - www.agedcareaustralia.gov.au
- Nutritionist Tina Taylor - www.herbsonthehill.com.au
^Name changed for privacy reasons.
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