Apr 07, 2021

Nursing home resident left with “faeces and maggots” in soiled clothes

Old man neglected in nursing home

An aged care resident from Sydney may have his death investigated after friends and family discovered he was neglected and living in squalid conditions at his aged care home in the inner-west. 

Nicholas O’Neill was 65 when he died at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in December 2020, after being admitted for a “chronic, terminal illness”.

However, friends are now demanding an autopsy after they received anonymous letters alleging the man was mistreated in his final months. 

After receiving letters and photos claiming to be from staff of O’Neill’s inner-west aged care facility, friends discovered that he had regularly been left in soiled clothes, and was being washed infrequently. One photograph showed maggots in a pair of soiled underpants. 

“He was not washed or had his clothes changed … he was in terrible pain and discomfort,” the letter said.

A second letter claimed, “… flies kept flying around him”.

In an interview with 7NEWS, a friend of O’Neill, Bryan Wiseman, said he “didn’t deserve this,” and became distressed when discussing his friend’s abhorrent living conditions. 

“Nick suffered for weeks and weeks and weeks,” Wiseman told 7NEWS.

“[He was] left with compacted faeces with maggots in it – how worse can that get?”

A file obtained by 7NEWS from the facility recorded only 25 instances of O’Neill being showered in the previous 14 months. 

O’Neill’s friends are now requesting an autopsy of the 65-year-old’s body. 

“I want to know what he actually really died of,” friend Antony Millard said.

“We need an independent investigation, which is why I’ve written to the independent healthcare complaints commission,” said Shadow Health Minister, Ryan Park. 

HelloCare reached out to Mr Wiseman for an update on the situation, but had not received a reply at the time of publication.

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  1. How come the people who sent photos to this poor mans friends didn’t do anything about this disgusting treatment.
    Did his friends not visit him also
    This is just so sad

    1. Exactly if this is true which i doubt ( where i work staff will try a difficult resident at different shifts if anyone can shower them its great ) but i have never in 11 years seen staff ignore cares no matter how bad the residents behaviour may be .

  2. Name and shame the facility please. I have written to Caroline Egan several times highlighting how my darling mother in aged care at Gold Coast “suffered neglect”.
    I was at the facility at 6am one day, and the staff “wiped my mother with wet ones” and that was her shower…… many, many times I had to ask for mum’s pull-up to be changed. I was a loving, daughter and I have to live with the “memories” and trauma.
    Caroline was appalled at my lengthy statement of neglect.

    How about the day I found a resident deceased in the hallway, but when I ran for help, I was told “go to mum’s room and say nothing”.

  3. This is what happens when there are no regular visitors.Where they can keep an eye on things. If the staff new about the condition of this poor man then why did they leave him in that state? I know alot of residents refuse to be cared for hygienically but this is ridiculous! Who are the staff working in this aged care facility? Who are the Registered Nurses? Who are the Clinical Managers? Who is the Facity Manager??? No excuse!!! Sack the bloody lot and send the the ones in charge to jail! Then hire the best Australians to take over the place!

  4. If this story is true, the licence of this RACF should be removed. The Directors and Senior Managers names should be published and they should be banned from Aged Care, Disability Care, NDIS service providers and banned from working with vulnerable people or children.

    Do not hold your breath. Despite the Royal Commission consequences are hard to find.

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