Tuesday, 17 May 2022
    Aged Care

    Footage reveals understaffing

    It’s early morning and Ernie Poloni is lying in his nursing home bed. Two carers enter his room, unaware that the digital clock on the table holds a hidden camera, ABC News reports.

    Ernie’s family has put it in his room at Bupa in Templestowe, Melbourne to find out why his pyjamas are regularly torn.

    The younger staff member’s face comes full into view as she puts her phone into the dock. Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You starts playing. She turns the volume up.

    Ernie has advanced dementia and cannot speak or walk. However, the 85-year-old can hear. Despite this, neither staff acknowledges him. No one says “good morning” or tells him it’s time for a shower.

    Instead, as the music plays loudly they stand on either side of his bed, talking to each other as they remove his pyjamas.

    The older carer pulls roughly at Ernie’s head several times. The other yanks at his left arm trying to get it out of the sleeve of his pyjamas.

    Over the next five minutes they roll him quickly and without warning a dozen times to get his pyjamas off and place him into a sling.

    Throughout it all Ernie’s body is rigid. He has a look of fear on his face and he often grabs hold of the carers’ wrists.

    Staff wages reportedly account for about 70 per cent of nursing home costs, but with no staff-to-resident ratios, providers are accused of running understaffed homes to keep surpluses up.


    Secret camera footage shows why Aged Care Royal Commission must examine understaffing and training (ABC News)


    As Australians grow older, number of aged care nurses is declining (Australian College of Nursing)