Aged care residents ‘left thirsty’ in their beds

In September last year, the SCC Yaraandoo Hostel was one of two Tasmanian aged care facilities which the royal commission inquiry said had placed “budgetary outcomes” above resident safety and wellbeing.Former Yaraandoo resident Brian Harvey, who died in August, wrote in a submission he was often left on a mobile toilet for up to 90 minutes. “When neglected like that, I feel I have been dehumanised, left as a carcass in an aged care abattoir ready to be processed like a slab of meat in a sausage processing factory,” Mr Harvey said.Now another resident has come forward talking of neglect due to understaffing.“I’ve got my marbles but 60 per cent of residents do not so I am doing this for them,” Brian Halpin said at the home on Wednesday.The 73-year-old has been in the home for six years.He said the staff – who were often in tears because they could not provide the care they wanted to – did a fantastic job under the circumstances.“I told them that we’ve run out of options to protect ourselves,” Mr Halpin said.“Bells are going unanswered and residents are being left in bed until lunchtime because they cut hours and refuse to roster enough staff on.”The Health and Community Services Union said it had heard reports that due to chronic short-staffing, some residents are being left in incontinence pads for hours on end and chronic dehydration had become a widespread issue.The union said hundreds of work hours had been slashed from rosters, leaving care staff spending hours daily delivering water in a bid to maintain residents’ hydration rather than delivering hands-on care.Residents have met privately with the Minister of Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck and Braddon MP Gavin Pearce.“They said they’d take our concerns seriously, but we’ve heard nothing,” Mr Halpin said.HACSU has previously called on Southern Cross Care to stop the cuts and protect staff andresident safety and wrote to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Regulator seeking their intervention.The union said the company had also recently announced an intention to cut staffpenalty rates and breaks – leaving workers up to $5000 worse off a year.“Yaraandoo is the most-sanctioned facility in Tasmania and is subject to extensive Royal Commission hearings – residents need more, not less staff,” HACSU State Secretary Tim Jacobson stated.Southern Cross Care has been contacted for

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