Daughter found deaf and blind dad on faeces-stained sheets


It was supposed to be a pleasant visit to see her 91-year-old father at St Vincent's Aged Care Services Toowoomba on Sunday.

Instead, Kat Cherry arrived after lunch to find her dad Kevin, who is both deaf and blind, lying on faeces-stained sheets.

"So I've gotten in there and woken him up," she recalled.

"And then I rolled him over and noticed the smell, and I saw the stains (on the sheets)."

A St Vincent's Care Services Toowoomba spokesman said the service had apologised to Ms Cherry regarding two recent incidents related to her father.

"We have scheduled weekly meetings with Ms Cherry and are working with her to deliver an agreed plan of care to meet her father's needs," the spokesman said.

"To our knowledge there have been no other formal complaints or concerns raised by Ms Cherry or other family members."

The incident on Sunday followed from another the previous month, where Ms Cherry said she received a phone call from the facility telling her they'd accidentally given her dad two doses of diabetes medication, Metformin.

"They told me they were very sorry. I told them it could have been a very different outcome and I could be getting a call telling me that he'd died.

"The trust is gone."

The principal issue, Ms Cherry said, was that she and other families put their loved ones into aged care facilities to be looked after - but that wasn't always happening.

"The reality is we're all going to get old, there's no way out of that," she said.

"I don't want to be lying in a nursing home bed, unable to do anything, and no one caring enough to fix it.

"It's just not good enough, and … after a royal commission, it's still happening."

She also said she'd found, following Sunday's incident, that there were no support groups in the region to turn to - just the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission hotline.

Ms Cherry said there were some "very good nurses" at St Vincent's, but that staff appeared "stretched", and she believed that part of the solution was to implement nurse to patient ratios - something the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union has been calling on the Federal Government to legislate for some time.

The St Vincent's Care Services Toowoomba spokesman said the service's staffing levels were in-line with industry benchmarks and updated regularly.

"We have registered nurses on site 24 hours a day," he said.

In a March audit, the service was judged compliant with national Aged Care Standards.


Originally published as Daughter found deaf and blind dad on faeces-stained sheets at aged care home