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Aged care claims: Signs of serious neglect

The Royal Commission into Aged Care noted in its 2022 news report that the next generation of retirees will more than triple in 2058. Because the Australian government is largely responsible for funding the care of the aging population, agencies have reported additional money allocations for this demographic and increased spending plans (pledging 4% more) by 2030-2031. However, with the increasing retiree demographic, the risk of neglect is still high. 

We have highlighted several signs of neglect and how to approach this serious issue. 

Signs of elder abuse

Abuse can happen to any older person, either by a loved one, a paid provider or even a stranger. There are many types of abuse ranging from emotional and physical to financial and abandonment. Noticing the signs of abuse can help loved ones spot when they need to step in and protect the elders they know. While this may be unimaginable for some of us, this is a reality and fear of many elders today. 

Here are a few signs of abuse:

  • Physical abuse: Bruising, cuts, unexplainable sores.
  • Emotional or sexual abuse: Withdrawn, confused or depressed behavior. They may also be isolated from their family and friends. 
  • Financial: Changes in their banking or spending patterns and unpaid bills. 
  • Undernourishment: Appearing underfed or dehydrated.
  • Incorrect or lack of medication: Delirium, intense dementia episodes, quiet or withdrawn behavior. 
  • Abandonment: Bedsores, not washed and complications of existing medical conditions, not trusting, unable to open up or be honest with their caregivers. 
  • Neglect: Unusual weight loss, malnutrition, unsanitary living conditions, left dirty, unbathed and/or without proper clothing despite weather conditions. 

Treating retirees at end of life without proper care, and failing to provide proper medical care or supervision, can result in death or much greater medical complications.

How to file a claim

Just because a person retires, that doesn’t mean they lose their rights to a happy life. They deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and live a life without abuse or neglect. Aged people should still have agency over their lives and have access to all information about themselves, including their care and services. 

Retirees also have the right to access to their super and government-funded services through the My Aged Care portal. The Department of Health manages the funds available, approval and information for the public. In March of 2019, the Attorney General launched a plan to address elder abuse nationally. The result is better information on the next steps and the rights loved ones have to file a claim. 

The best way to file a claim is to speak with a law professional like Gerard Malouf and Partners for advice. We offer a no-obligation service where you can stop in, we’ll look at the evidence you have on your loved one and we can help you build a case. Always, at the first signs of abuse, call the elder abuse hotline (1-800 ELDERHelp, 1-800 353 374) to get a paper trail started. The sooner you can build a case for your aged loved one, the better chances you will succeed in remedying the situation. 

Knowing the rights of your loved one, the signs of abuse and how you can ensure they’ll receive compensation can help you feel more empowered in a stressful situation. To get started, reach out to a Gerard Malouf and Partners professional today.

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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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