Families and relatives of residents at a Berry aged care facility have voiced concerns of neglect and poor hygiene at the home.
Last month the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency identified issues with non-compliance at Berry’s Bupa aged care facility, which are yet to be released publicly.
However, documents obtained by Fairfax Media revealed the aged care home failed 35 of the 44 standards set by the Aged Care Quality Agency.
The unmet standards related to poor medication management, poor documentation of pain management, unsatisfactory behaviour management, issues with cleaning and building maintenance, issues with staffing and unfilled shifts, inadequate catering and cold meals and poor communication to residents and relatives.
A relative of one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said the care her family member had received at Bupa Berry was “absolutely shocking”.
“I don’t understand how aged care homes are left to run into the ground,” she said.
“The conditions are that of a third world country and no one deserves to live like that.”
The relative said hygiene was an issue that needed serious attention.
“There have been residents that have dirt between their toes because they haven’t been washed properly,” she said.
“The cleaners also don’t seem to be around much and the floors are absolutely filthy.”
Relatives have also raised concerns about the lack of activities for residents, saying they are “neglected” by the staff.
“The overreaching issue at this facility is the staffing,” one relative said. “There are not enough staff to keep up with the number of residents, especially on night shifts.
“My [family member’s] fingernails have been cut once in the almost-two years they’ve been there. It’s not good enough.
“There’s also been stories of people with pressure sores from being in bed too long.”
Last month, a spokesperson for Bupa admitted the company had struggled to attract and maintain skilled staff members at regional aged care homes, like that at Berry.
“The growth of Australia's ageing population means demand for aged care services has also grown,” they said.
“This has led to some challenges in attracting and retaining experienced and skilled health professionals to work in rural homes.”
The spokesperson said Bupa apologised to the residents and their families of the Berry care home.
“Bupa is committed to making significant improvements at the home and regaining the trust of our residents and their families,” they said.
“This does not represent the high standards of aged care that Bupa stands for and that our residents deserve."
Independent advisers have been appointed to help the home work through the issues identified by the Quality Agency, but relatives say they are considering moving their family members to new homes.
“It’s definitely something we are looking into,” the anonymous relative said.
“[Bupa Berry] is not providing the services has promised it would to care for our [families].”
The documents revealed Bupa Berry has already made several changes at the home to improve quality of life for residents. Extra shifts have been added and another staff member has been added to night shift, three registered nurses and four general services officers have also been recruited. Fortnightly newsletters will also be distributed to relatives and families to improve communication.