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Aged care home intruders raise safety concerns


An attack on an elderly woman has led to renewed focus on security in residential care.

  • News
  • Read Time: 3 mins

In November last year, a 90-year-old resident of a New South Wales Central Coast aged care home was seriously assaulted in her bed, and later died in hospital.

Police arrested a man in his 30s, who was charged with multiple offences. The matter is now before the courts.

It was one of several recent reported break-ins where older people have been confronted by intruders in aged care homes.

This has prompted the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to remind providers of their obligations regarding the safety and security of people in their care.

The commission’s message to the providers gives an insight into aged care home safety concerns, what’s being done to improve safety, and what residents and their families need to know.

The commission begins by saying personal safety is a basic human right and everyone should feel safe and secure in their home.

It continues, “As providers, you have a responsibility to make sure older people in your care are safe and to provide a secure environment.”

Suggested crime prevention security tips include:

  • Encouraging residents to lock all doors and windows.

  • Making it harder for intruders to get in without being seen – this can include cutting overgrown bushes and trees and installing CCTV.

  • Reporting suspicious behaviour to the police immediately.

  • Not allowing entry to (or escorting off the premises) anyone who is unwilling to identify themselves or can’t provide a plausible reason for being at the service.

If you notice suspicious activity around your home, you can raise concerns with the police by calling 131 444. If there is an emergency, call 000.

Related reading: Aged Care Quality Bulletin, SMH 

Author

John Austin

John Austin

Policy and Communications Officer

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