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Assault rates double in aged-care homes

Luke Grant

The Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW has made a shocking submission to the standing committee on aged care.

The submission contains revelations that the rate of serious physical and sexual assaults in aged-care homes has more than doubled inside the past decade.

But Paul Versteege from CPSA says this is just the tip of the iceberg, as assaults where assailants are residents with dementia are not recorded.

“These assaults, they are not the only assaults,” he says.

“The only thing that needs to be reported are assaults where the perpetrator is responsible for their actions, those that don’t have dementia. In nursing homes, there are a lot of people with dementia who attack other residents.”

“This makes nursing homes a very unsafe environment.”

Mr Versteege says that even safeguards designed to reform the industry don’t always work as intended, with unannounced audits often proving ineffective.

“Even with unannounced audits, they can’t just walk in,” he explains.

“They have to ask the permission of the nursing home to carry out the unannounced visit, so there is always a little bit of notice to paper over the worst cracks.”

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Luke Grant