"If this was happening to our children, we would be in there and we would be fixing it and solving it.” Son, NSW
“You could see the hand bruising from her being picked up.” Son, WA
“Mum had bruises on her wrists and black eyes, and whenever I said something to the staff, they said she had had a fall.” Son, NSW
In part two of this FOUR CORNERS investigation, the program will reveal the abject failure of government regulation to protect the elderly.
“Her comment was, ‘Will an apology do?’ And I said, ‘No, an apology will not do. You have to do your job, and you have to find out what happened, and make sure that this doesn't happen again.’” Daughter, NSW
Carers and families from across the country have come forward to tell their stories and demand change.
“I believe there are a lot of incidents like this that we don't know about. Families do not have a way of finding out the truth. He was a loving man, he cared for his family, he worked hard all his life. And he didn't deserve this ending.” Daughter, NSW
Facing concerted efforts to cover up abuse and mistreatment, families are taking matters into their own hands to hold nursing homes to account.
“I wanted to know what really happened…The fact is that the right things hadn't been done, were not done for him, at his hour of need. And, these were merely just total lies.” Daughter, NSW
Some families have resorted to installing hidden cameras to capture evidence.
“To make life easy, why don't we just put a camera in? You know, a little camera, clock camera? And we'll just see what's happening.” Son, WA
They say that for too long the industry has been able to avoid rigorous public scrutiny.
“You can sit on the internet and book yourself a hotel, or a car, or a flight, and you can compare very easily, but in aged care it's not so easy.” Former assessor
As this program will clearly show, there is much more to be done if our vulnerable elderly Australians are to be given the care and protection they deserve.
“To simply say that staff members have been educated and this won't happen again, doesn't give the family of the deceased any comfort at all, because it shouldn't have happened in the first place.” Former assessor
Who Cares? reported by Anne Connolly and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 24th September at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 25th September at 1.00pm and Wednesday 26th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.