Distressed relatives have rushed to Regis Nedlands, an aged care facility in Perth's western suburbs, demanding more information about multiple allegations of physical abuse against residents. Regis Nedlands is at the centre of the allegations with WA Police investigating five alleged incidents between 11 - 13 January.
It is unclear just how many residents and alleged perpetrators are involved, but families report that they have been told that there are up to seven alleged victims. Among the allegations are instances of rough handling of residents, failing to promote privacy, dignity and independence of residents and inappropriate communication between staff and residents.
In an email, sent out to residents and families, Regis Nedlands said it was conducting its own investigation.
Regis managing director and chief executive Linda Mellors said some staff had been removed from the roster until the investigation was completed, and the company was also boosting staff numbers at the facility, including senior management, and providing training in "the critical areas identified in the allegations".
"As soon as we became aware of the allegations, the management team contacted the residents, and their families identified in the allegations to discuss specific details. In addition, independent clinical assessments were provided to all residents at the home," she said.
“The allegations are not consistent with our values and expectations,” Regis said in a statement.
According to Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson, the aged care regulator has made unannounced site audits of Regis's two aged care facilities in Nedlands in the past two months.
Almost 40 per cent of people living in Australian aged care facilities experience elder abuse, with 5 per cent of people suffering physical abuse, according to estimates by the Office of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.