"Why can't I get the records regarding my father's care?"

About: Casa Mia Aged Care

(as a carer),

I looked after my father with the help of a Homeware Package and my mother. My father had been suffering from Dementia for the last few years. He was progressing slowly but it came to the stage where he was not sleeping at night and regardless of all our efforts it was too much for my mother to be at home with him.  We put my father into respite for 4 weeks into a facility in NSW. They also were able to give him a bed full-time. I found it difficult him being in a High Care Dementia Ward but I thought it was for the best. How wrong I was in hindsight.

From day one I was incurring problems, from the small such as clothes going missing and clothes coming back from laundry shrunk and discoloured, to my father deteriorating quickly. He lost weight, I witnessed him being showered and dried with seeming aggression, which I pointed out to the carers washing him. He had a electric razor which had gone missing for 2 weeks. I visited him on one occasion and he has about a 2 cm deep cut on his chin where he had been shaved with a disposable razor. I at this point was trying to arranged another Homeware Package for him to come home. I would take a year out and look after him. I had several meetings with the management but nothing seemed to change. They wanted him on drugs the day he went in there to settle his behaviour, I fought this until the last week of his life. He was in a dementia ward where I believe the staff should have been trained to deal with such behaviour. Unfortunately most of the staff seemed to have poor english, there was only one Registered Nurse available and it seemed to me to be the easy option. There are countless problems which occurred over the period he was in their care. The most distressing was when I went to visit one afternoon to have a meeting with an independent Geriatrician to talk about medication (which I was always against). On arrival my father was sat at a table his eyes shut and remnants of food from lunch still in his mouth. He wasn't responsive and would not open his eyes. We put him to bed, the Geriatrition looked him over and didn't think there was anything wrong with him. I got a doctor to come to have a look who also said the same. Within 24hours my father has passed away in hospital of Aspiration Pneumonia. To this day I do not understand how these two health professionals could not diagnose that there was something wrong with my father. I do not have faith in the Aged Care Facility system. I visited quite a few and was appalled at what I had seen. These people are vulnerable humans beings that deserve respect and dignity. I am now battling to get my father's notes so I can decide whether he was treated well and did their lack of care contribute to his death. I, as a relative, cannot get a hard copy of this but an independent body is able to, read them on my behalf and decide whether my father was treated with respect and dignity. There is no legislation which can make a care home give this information to a family. I will be advocating for this and feel that Aged Care Facilities need to be more transparent and accountable. I have gained much information regarding Dementia, Home Care and Aged Care Residential care and feel I am able to pass on this information to whomever needs it.

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