Case Examples

Example One

Mrs J had lived in a nursing home for 6 years. Over time she had become quite settled and was able to maintain some of her interests and sort out matters of concern with the help of Jenny the diversional therapist.

Recently a number of matters of concern had arisen and Mrs J was finding it hard to talk to the new diversional therapist who replaced Jenny as she only worked part-time leaving her little time to spend with residents. Mrs J, finding it hard to discuss her concerns with the new diversional therapist, approached one of the nursing staff in charge of her area, but when she discussed her concerns she felt she was given quick explanations on some concerns and others being dismissed and no action taken. This left her with a sense of unease and dissatisfaction as she wanted to get things sorted.
Mrs J called ARAS.

The advocate discussed and clarified her issues. There was a problem with Mrs J's ulcers on her legs. She worried that possibly her dressings were not applied correctly therefore small infections were flaring up. Her reading books were not being supplied and her new roommate (of the last two weeks) was waking up at night and disturbing her sleep.

The advocate was able to highlight to Mrs J her rights entitlements as a resident of an aged care facility and represent her at a meeting with the Director of Care at the nursing Home. The following matters were discussed at a meeting with the director of Care:

  • Mrs J's care plan needed to ensure she was getting appropriate skin treatment and that it would be reviewed when not working so that another treatment regime could be tried or any problems fixed. In addition, contemporary practices regarding skin care needed to be in place.
  • In regards to sleep, the facility needed to ensure that Mrs J had minimal sleep disturbances. There was also a need to assist Mrs J's roommate to achieve good sleep
  • Mrs J needed to be supported so that she could continue to receive her reading books. There needed to be continuity for her even though there were staff changes.
  • Staff needed to follow Mrs J care plan as it was important they maintained her care and lifestyle choices.

A matter that was central to all of Mrs J's concerns was that the aged care facility needed to have a complaints system that worked for residents, a complaints system that maintained consistent consultation with residents regarding their care plan and its delivery.

Example Two

Mr B, who had lived in a hostel for 5 years, found himself in an awkward situation. Mr B had lodged a complaint with the nurse in charge because he had been told by staff that from the following week he would not be able to have a cup of tea at 6am and 7pm.

This service had been provided to him ever since he had lived at the aged care facility. Every morning Mr B would wake up and turn on his favourite radio program, the cup of tea acted as a stimulant and made him alert. At the age of 99 he had never missed out!

The advocate discussed the general rights and entitlements of residents as well as the way ARAS could help. The advocate obtained permission from Mr B to represent him and present his case to the Director of Care if that is what he wanted.

The advocate handled the matter over the phone with the Director of Care and she explained that as a new staff routine would be in place soon, staff responsibilities could no longer accommodate Mr B's choices. The advocate further explored how to meet Mr B's needs with the Director of Care. The advocate presented how the prescribed services listed under the Aged Care Act provide for supper; therefore the cup of tea at 7pm had to be kept. This was accepted by the Director of Care.

In regards to the cup provided at 6am the advocate began to explore the standard regarding resident's right to choice and control as well as meeting their need to maintain activities of their choice. In light of this the Director of Care made sure that Mr B's care plan included his 6am cup of tea and adjusted the staff routine accordingly.