A WOMAN whose mother was found with maggots in her mouth at a Raymond Terrace nursing home the day before she died in 2016 has called for the federal government to "do the right thing" and act quickly on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care.
Port Stephens woman Jayney Carter said sharing her mother's "distressing" experience at the Opal Raymond Terrace Gardens via the media had helped to "get the ball rolling" by inspiring others to come forward for the Royal Commission.
"It brought many angry, broken and discouraged people out of their realms of pain and gave them the energy to hope and try again and, as we saw, it turned into a landslide," she said. "I feel immense gratitude to all those in every walk of aged care who have fought for the cause. My heart is with those in care, or who have families in care, and those working with the vulnerable aged.
"My prayer is for the government to act on what has been set before them and do the right thing."
Hunter-based aged care lawyer and advocate Catherine Henry said the government must "act urgently"to implement the recommendations to prevent further deaths, abuse and neglect in aged care homes.
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Speaking on behalf of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Ms Henry said despite more than 30 reviews over the past 20 years, they had not seen evidence of an "appetite for reform" from government.
"A new Aged Care Act is critical and we need to get this right, but waiting for this legislation to be drafted cannot be an excuse to delay the implementation of other essential actions," she said.
Ms Henry said the Commissioners had different views on key issues such as funding and regulation.
"This confusion could well be an excuse for government inaction," she said.
Australian Aged Care Collaboration spokesperson Patricia Sparrow agreed it was concerning there wasn't a "unanimous and clear position" of how aged care should be funded in future.
"Funding is what supports the employment of more care staff, better trained care staff, better paid care staff and better facilities for residents," she said.
"Older people must be front and centre in everything we do, from human rights based legislation, to employing more staff, and supporting more people in their own homes."
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