Neglect ‘the hidden problem’ in aged care

The survey asked aged care residents about any concerns they had including those they hadn’t reported (Unsplash/Roland Kay Smith)

Four in 10 aged care residents have experienced some form of abuse or neglect, a survey initiated by the aged care royal commission has revealed. Source: The Age.

Described by experts as a hidden and neglected problem in Australia, an “experimental” survey of elder abuse among 391 residents living in 67 aged care facilities found 39.4 per cent said they experienced emotional and physical abuse and/or neglect.

The survey, released yesterday, did not include financial, sexual or social abuse.

Conducted from January to March 2020 and commissioned by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, residents were asked about any concerns they had, including those they hadn’t reported, and then asked about their main concerns.

The most prevalent type of abuse was neglect, which was experienced by 30.8 per cent of people. This is above the combined or pooled prevalence rate of 11.6 per cent in international studies but below the highest rate of 81.8 per cent. This included people who said they didn’t get enough help to eat, move, go to the toilet, or use continence aids.

The next most common was emotional abuse, at 22.6 per cent in Australia compared with the combined prevalence rate overseas of 33.4 per cent and below the highest international rate of 79 per cent.

The smallest group was those who had experienced physical abuse, which was five per cent, compared to the rate overseas of 14 per cent.

Any abuse of an aged care recipient was unacceptable, said a spokesman for Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck.


40 per cent of aged care residents experience abuse or neglect (By Julie Power, The Age

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