Aged care nightmare: Mum left blind after stroke

ONE woman speaking in the audience at Thursday's aged care crisis meeting in Bundaberg claims her mother was left blind and in a vegetative state because of a lack of care in a Bundaberg aged care home.

Concerned about her mother's care, she asked to speak to a nurse, but says she was told she would need to book an appointment days in advance.

"On the day that I had my appointment my mother had a massive stroke and the kitchen staff were the ones that noticed," she said.

"Half her face had fallen down, she had gone blind, she was starring into space and she couldn't move one side of her body."

The woman said she was in tears when she arrived and saw her mother had been propped up in a chair around other residents.

"I was almost hysterical and I said 'where's the ambulance?' and they said 'well, we haven't called an ambulance, we're waiting to see what you want us to do'," she said.

"Now I still don't know if mum had been like that for hours after the kitchen staff found her, I don't know how long she'd been like that."

Locals spoke of their experiences.
Locals spoke of their experiences. Crystal Jones

She said when an ambulance was finally called, it was as a transport job and not an emergency.

"When mum got to the hospital they said that she was blind, she couldn't smile and she would be basically a vegetable from that point on," she said.

"When I approached the aged care home and got very annoyed with them and said 'why couldn't you have just called an ambulance?' they said 'well they couldn't have called an ambulance because personal carers aren't allowed to call an ambulance, only registered nurses are allowed to call an ambulance and because there was no registered nurse there nobody did but even when a registered nurse found out about it, she didn't call an ambulance.

"It wasn't a 000 emergency in their book, they didn't think my mother was worth calling 000, she was just an old person and they didn't care if she died."

The woman said her mother would not have wanted to live as a "vegetable", but without advanced care directive, she was left with no choice.

She believes, after discussions with the stroke foundation, that her mother's condition would have been significantly different had she received immediate care.

"It took over two and a quarter hours for my mother to get to the hospital after the ambulance arrived, so anyway, my mother died," she said.

"I did put in a complaint to the aged care commissioner, they did keep trying to put me off all the time when I kept bringing up these things that had happened."

"I was trying to get the RN to talk to me about the fact I believed my mother was dehydrating from not getting enough water



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