Son not told of restraints in mumís toilet death
18-08-2011 | Source | ABC News
The son of an elderly Victorian woman who died while strapped to a nursing home toilet claims the facility was not upfront about her death.
Last year Gwendaline Gleeson, 89, died of a heart attack at Ballabill House nursing home at Seymour in central Victoria.
The nurses were not authorised to use the straps and it is suspected other residents were treated the same way.
James Gleeson says, until Wednesday, he had never been told the full circumstances of his mother's death.
"I had never heard of her being restrained," he said.
"What I heard today from the Coroner's Court was that Mum was strapped in the toilet and she was left there for two hours.
"I had never heard of that before. I thought she was in the toilet for 10 minutes."
Ms Gleeson was in deteriorating health and had been seen by a doctor on the morning of her death.
Coroner John Olle today called for safety straps to be removed from all nursing homes.
He says there needs to be better education for aged care staff
Mr Olle says it is possible methods of strapping residents down are being used elsewhere and, as a matter of public health, the practice should end.
The Department of Health and Ageing investigated the matter.
All unauthorised straps have been removed from the home and nursing staff have been educated on the correct use of safety straps.
Seymour Health runs the 30-bed aged care home.
The hearing was told the staff involved were distressed by the incident and were disciplined but are still working at the home.
The coroner says he is heartened by the response of all those involved.
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