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Aged Care Royal Commission – Case Study

As the hearings for the Royal Commission into Aged Care continue, one particularly distressing case study emerged which concerned the physical and chemical restraint of a vulnerable man suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

The elderly patient was a resident at the Garden View Aged Care Facility in New South Wales. His family raised concerns for his safety and wellbeing when evidence revealed that the patient was being prescribed multiple dosages of the psychotropic medication, Risperidone, which is a medication used to treat aggression and irritability in illnesses such as Dementia. Of particular concern was the fact that the patient was being prescribed the medication by two different medical practitioners simultaneously, despite one of the doctors admitting that medications such as Risperidone are “last resort medications”.

In addition to being chemically restrained, it was also revealed that the patient was being physically restrained for periods of up to 13-14 hours a day. This disturbing incident was explained as an oversight, due to the fact that the permission sheets for implementing physical restraints did not advise as to how long the restraints could be used against a patient.

This case study must be restricted to its circumstances, however, it reflects the fearless approach of the Commission in investigating instances where standards fall well below community expectations.

Grace Brophy, Solicitor
Patricia Monemvasitis, Partner

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