Jul 03, 2024

Nursing Home’s Bid for Emergency Guardian for Violent Resident Denied

Nursing Home's Bid for Emergency Guardian for Violent Resident Denied
The nursing home argued that man’s behaviour had reached a critical point, making him unsafe to others.

A Tasmanian nursing home has been denied its bid to have an emergency guardian appointed for an 80-year-old resident, UI, who is reportedly becoming “increasingly physically violent.”

UI has been accused of multiple aggressive actions towards fellow residents, including pushing a woman who later “died from a fracture sustained in the push,” according to the facility. Despite these serious allegations, the Tasmania Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) did not find the situation urgent enough to warrant an emergency guardianship order.

The nursing home argued that UI’s behaviour had reached a critical point, making him unsafe to others. They had sought a “medical review and assessment” of UI’s behaviour, but his family did not consent to this, nor to a transfer for further investigation and treatment.

The facility had made several attempts to get approval from UI’s son for a referral for needs-based assessments under the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) or the Dementia Support Australia’s Severe Behaviour Response Team (SBRT).

However, when the son last allowed Dementia Support Australia to visit, he “did not permit them to assess beyond the initial review and refused further SDCP or SBRT reviews”.

The tribunal learned that UI had been assessed a year earlier as suitable for the Roy Fagan Centre, which specialises in elderly care for those with mental illness and dementia.

Yet, on the transfer day, UI’s son refused to allow it, claiming he had not been “adequately informed of the reasons,” despite previous discussions.

The tribunal also heard that the facility had received numerous complaints from other families and residents about UI’s “volatile behaviour,” citing incidents like grabbing a resident, shaking and shouting at them, “[pushing] a resident in the chest forcefully,” grabbing a resident “by the neck,” pushing another “into shrubbery along a walkway,” and biting “a contractor — dentist”. The facility expressed significant concerns about the risk of harm to other residents.

An advocate for UI stated that he trusted his son, who provided him with financial, physical, and emotional support, and that UI wished for his son to continue making decisions on his behalf.

In its ruling, TASCAT noted that evidence showed UI had been engaging in such behaviours since January 2022. The tribunal also highlighted that the cause of UI’s behaviour was still unknown and previous attempts to gain consent for assessments had failed.

Under these circumstances, TASCAT concluded that the urgency required to appoint an emergency guardian was not present and dismissed the request for an emergency guardianship order.

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  1. This makes caring for UI close to impossible. Is the home expected to provide one on one care until he passes? Why would the family refuse assessments? Perhaps UI would be happier if her lived at home with the family??

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