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Formally known as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Aged Care Royal Commission began hearing evidence on Monday 11 February 2019. The standard of treatment of a number of patients at a nursing home in Adelaide SA alerted concerned family members and they, in turn, made the situation known to authorities.

The Commission will hear from advocacy and medical groups with enquiries into previously unspoken issues and events.

The Chief Executive of Aged and Community Services Australia, Patricia Sparrow, expressed the concern that many people found it difficult to talk about the issue of ageing and what care was available for the aged. Operating, monitoring and regulating how aged care facilities are being run, and pursuing changes and improvements for the safety and well-being of those residing in them are key features of this hearing.

On the first day of public hearings, one family offered reports of their experience with their husband and father who had Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was, by their account, overmedicated and mistreated preceding his death and mystery remains as to what really happened, as the relevant authorities nor the police were informed. They advocated for the installation of CCTV in aged care facilities and greater “empathy for the elderly”.

The Commission has received 800 public submissions and of the 2000 approved aged care providers, approximately 900 have responded.

Public hearings will continue on Tuesday 12 February 2019 and Wednesday 13 February 2019 and again from Monday 18 February 2019 to Friday 22 February 2019.

For more information about the work of the Royal Commission, including how submissions can be made, and when and where hearings will be held visit the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety website.

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