"The Royal Commission into Aged Care’s final report makes clear that the current aged care system is failing older people in numerous ways. Multiple investigations and reports have confirmed widespread abuse and neglect in aged care homes. The Australian government should urgently carry out the commission’s recommendations to protect the dignity, health, and human rights of older people", Australia director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, said.
The human rights watchdog specifically urged the government to look into the banishment of the chemical restraint practices, allowing staff to use drugs to control the behaviour of older patients in care homes without specific medical needs.
"An end to the abusive practice of chemical restraint will only happen if aged care providers that wrongly administer medication as a restraint are held accountable and if the government bans the practice", the HRW stated.
Since its establishment in 2018, the commission has interviewed over 600 witnesses of abuse in the elderly care system, reviewed thousands of written testimonies and produced 38 reports outlining the most prominent issues. The final report of the commission was published on Monday and included 148 recommendations that would help provide adequate support to the elderly in Australia.
In recent years, Australia has been struggling with widespread elderly abuse and mistreatment in care facilities. Since 2018, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has uncovered 2,520 sexual assault cases and numerous instances of neglect and bodily harm. In late February, it was revealed that an elderly patient died due to alleged neglect in a Perth nursing home, further pressuring the government to take steps to rectify the issue.