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Maggie Beer Foundation presenting to the Royal Commission

12 July, 2019

Cairns hearing to focus on food and nutrition, care quality

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Cairns from Monday 15 July 2019 to Wednesday 17 July 2019.

Continuing the hearing that commenced in Darwin, the Royal Commission will focus on aspects of care in residential and home care programs, including:

  • wound care, medication and pain management
  • mobility and falls risk
  • nutrition and hydration
  • continence care
  • social supports and quality of life

The Royal Commission will hear from a range of witnesses, including those with direct personal experience, service providers, and experts.

Maggie Beer AM, Senior Australian of the Year 2010, will describe the work of the Maggie Beer Foundation in promoting the value of food and nutrition in aged care, including training and information for staff.

The Royal Commission will also hear from chefs in the aged care industry, highlighting the challenges and opportunities for meeting the nutritional needs of aged care recipients, while also enhancing quality of life.

Tensions that exist in aged care when trying to provide high quality clinical care and at the same time promote quality of life in the home or in a home like environment will be examined.

The Royal Commission will hear directly about the case of Bertha Aalberts who resided at Avondrust Lodge in Carrum Downs. Avondrust Lodge is operated by MiCare Ltd.

Ms Aalberts’ daughter, Johanna Aalberts-Henderson, will tell the Royal Commission that her mother walked into Avondrust Lodge with the assistance of a walker ‘cognisant and continent’ and died three months later.  She will describe her concerns about a lack of qualified care staff at the home and the failure by the home to attend to a serious wound on her mother’s leg. As a result of an investigation into Avondrust’s treatment of Ms Aalberts, the provider dramatically increased the number of nursing staff on duty at the home.

Issues of nutrition and oral health, specialist nursing and falls prevention will be explored with experts, and people working in these areas.

The Cairns hearing will begin at 10.00am on Monday 15 July 2019 and will be held at Cairns Convention Centre, corner of Sheridan and Wharf streets, Cairns.

Following the hearing in Cairns, a community forum will be held in Townsville, giving members of the public in Northern Queensland the opportunity to provide the Royal Commission with their views and experience of aged care.

The forum will be held at Rydges Southbank, 23 Palmer Street, Townsville, QLD 4810 on Thursday 18 July 2019 from 1:30pm to 4:00pm. Commissioner Lynelle Briggs AO will attend.

For more information about the hearing please consult the hearings page on our website.

Proceedings can be viewed or listened to using the webcast on the Royal Commission website. Hearing transcripts will also be available at the end of each hearing day.