Australia

Poor care made dad's last days distressing

A woman has told the aged care royal commission in Perth the facility where her father lived failed to provide him with adequate palliative care.

The final weeks of Vincent Paranthoiene's life were "distressing and exhausting" because the facility he was living in neglected him and failed to provide adequate palliative care, his daughter has told a royal commission.

Mr Paranthoiene had been a resident at Alkira Gardens in NSW and died in November 2017 at Calvary Hospital where he spent his final days.

His daughter Shannon Ruddock told the aged care royal commission in Perth on Thursday she had to battle to ensure her father was treated with dignity and received the care he deserved.

"I shudder to think about what his experience would have been like had he died in Alkira, a facility that had proven to me it could not deliver adequate palliative care," she said in her statement.

Mr Paranthoiene, a widower, had a stroke in January 2017 and required rehabilitation but during his hospital stay, he fell and broke his ribs.

He moved to Alkira in April 2017 but Ms Ruddock soon noticed her father had developed a large lump on his ribs and had lost weight.

She repeatedly expressed concern about his condition and by September his deterioration was significant.

"I said to my husband: 'God, he's dying'," she told the commission.

Ms Ruddock said she was upset her father's deterioration was not noticed by Alkira staff.

He was finally diagnosed with cancer and told he had a couple of months to live.

Mr Paranthoiene returned to Alkira where he developed a pressure wound and was given a special mattress but it still got worse.

Ms Ruddock said she was concerned staff did not know how to care for her father.

In October, Mr Paranthoiene hit his head and was rushed to hospital.

His pressure wound was infected but began to heal with care at Calvary.

Mr Paranthoiene was allowed to remain at the hospital after his condition worsened and Ms Ruddock received a letter from the Health Department saying Alkira had been sanctioned over concerns about the "safety, health and wellbeing" of residents.

Ms Ruddock believed there were not enough staff at Alkira and said they were not trained to provide appropriate palliative care.

She wants residential aged care facilities to go through a rigorous accreditation process to offer palliative care.

The commission has previously heard that from about 160,000 Australians who die each year, about 60,000 die in residential aged care facilities.

Mr Paranthoiene's story has been used as a case study for the commission, which is examining the extent to which people in aged care facilities are able to access palliative care and the quality of the service.

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