We helped clients sue an aged care facility over the death of their mother (and grandmother) while in the facility’s care.
The family reluctantly decided to place their then 87-year old grandmother into an aged care facility when the toll of providing around-the-clock care proved too much.
The much-loved matriarch died within three months.
We alleged negligence on the part of the facility arguing that a wound on the grandmother’s foot was allowed to fester until an infection took hold that left her incoherent and barely conscious.
The woman was diabetic and had osteoporosis but was otherwise in good health upon moving into the facility. When visiting, family members found dried-up pus from burst blisters and medical tape plastered to her foot.
The granddaughter was listed as her grandmother’s medical care decision-maker on paper with an enduring guardian document but she felt powerless. She said systems made it difficult for families to try and advocate medically on behalf of residents.
Before the woman’s death our clients’ family had to argue with the facility’s staff to admit their loved one to hospital.
Our clients said making the case against the facility was about saving another family from being robbed of precious time with a loved one in their twilight years.
All I’ve ever really wanted from this was just the acknowledgement that things could have been different and may not have ended the way they did if things were dealt with properly.”
“Nan left an amazing legacy in the family that she’s got but if change can be part of her legacy that would be even better” the granddaughter said.
From our work with clients with similar cases, it is clear to us that the negligent management of pressure sores is rife within the aged care sector. Clinicians will say that pressure sores are always avoidable.
Stricter regulation of the industry particularly in regard to the quality and quantity of nursing at aged care facilities is desperately needed but successive governments have shown little appetite for necessary reforms over the last two to three decades.
It is often left to the court system to improve standards of patient care. Bringing a negligence case against an aged care facility holds that facility to account and also acts as a deterrent to other operators.
Our clients successfully resolved their case.
If you have a loved one in an aged care facility who you believe is not receiving adequate care, we can help advocate for you. If a loved one has died in an aged care facility which you believe could have been avoided or was a result of negligent care talk to us about the options available to you.