Following an audit by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission in early April 2021, a report was released at the beginning of May.
The report showed that 35 of the 39 residents were being given psychotropic medication.
Though all have diagnoses and conditions that are suitable for the medications prescribed, there was no written consent from family for the residents to take the medication.
The acting residential care manager said the home had “a new psychotropic awareness form for all consumers receiving psychotropics,” and that this would be implemented once a new manager began at the home.
Other complaints outlined in the report, which is available on the commission’s website, included:
Back in December 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the commission suspended site audits, and to ensure continuity of accreditation, the Department of Health granted “exceptional circumstances” to the home, extending its accreditation until 7 July 2021.
The home continued to be monitored by the commission during that period, according to the My Aged Care website.
Professor Joseph Ibrahim is the head of the Health Law and Ageing Research Unit at Monash University.
He told the ABC the problems with psychotropic use have been “well known” for more than two decades.
“The royal commission made it one of its top priorities in its interim report back in 2019 and yet we are still seeing the issues, really quite prominent now,” he said.
“What we know is it is widespread, it is not any particular home or any particular doctor. It is through the whole sector.”
Professor Ibrahim added, “The rules that have been put in place are just not effective, nor are they consistent with respecting the human rights of an older person with dementia.”
HelloCare has not named the home in question. We have covered this story to demonstrate the issues facing aged care, not to identify specific homes or providers.