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Assaults At NSW Aged Care Homes Soar To Decade-High

Assaults reported at aged care homes in New South Wales (NSW) have surged to the highest level in a decade, with more than 900 incidents recorded in the last financial year. 

Data obtained by the ABC reveals that the figure is nearly triple the number recorded ten years ago, raising serious questions about the safety and well-being of elderly residents in the state.

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The largest spike in reported incidents occurred in April 2021 when the government introduced the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS). 

The scheme mandates care providers to report all serious incidents to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

According to information provided by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), NSW Police recorded a staggering 4,654 incidents at aged care facilities, averaging approximately 12 incidents a day across the state. 

However, the dataset does not provide a breakdown of the types of incidents reported.

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BOCSAR Executive Director, Jackie Fitzgerald, said: “The increase does seem to be related to an increase in reporting of criminal incidents occurring in aged care facilities.”

The NSW Police acknowledged that reporting rules have influenced the increased number of reports, but refrained from disclosing how often officers were called to aged care homes.

One tragic incident in May at a Cooma nursing home resulted in the death of 95-year-old resident Clare Nowland

The elderly woman lost her life a week after being tasered by a police officer who had responded to a call when staff failed to disarm her of two knives. 

Senior Constable Kristian White has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the incident and remains before the courts.

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