Rest home resident slates care
‘‘I’ve been to hell and back.’’
Matt Gardner’s had enough.
A client of Ranui residential and convalescent home Emmerson House since 2013, Gardner is desperately looking for alternative accommodation.
The diabetic, who has lost half his left leg and is almost totally blind, alleges the 20 Emmerson residents are not treated well by staff who ‘‘either don’t give a stuff or are not equipped’’ to deal with people with high mental and physical needs.
Gardner has listed a catalogue of problems and complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner, police, Ministry of Health, Citizens Advice Bureau and the owners of Emmerson House, NZCare Disability, but said his efforts had come to nothing.
Kapi-Mana News messages to Emmerson House manager Vanessa Reeves were not returned, but Vicki Stewart, NZCare Disability group manager, said the organisation was aware of Gardner’s concerns and ‘‘had been working through [them] over a period of time now’’.
Stewart cited privacy issues when asked about individual complaints, and said she was not aware of other residents experiencing similar problems.
Gardner claimed residents in the Awatea St home had been pushed around and some had been left in various states of distress or undress in the day room.
He believed staff had entered his bathroom without permission while he showered and gossiped about residents and spoke loudly about their ‘‘boozy’’ weekends often.
Gardner said his cellphone and some of his alcohol had been stolen by other residents or staff, and Emmerson House was generally untidy and not clean.
‘‘I’m probably labelled ‘difficult’ but I’m past the point of caring,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been to hell and back in that place, and people need to know about it. I was referred there and at the start it seemed fine, but it’s been a terrible experience.’’
He is on the waiting list for a suitable Housing New Zealand home. ‘‘I have to get out. Soon.’’ A staff member, who did not want to be named, supported Gardner’s allegations.
‘‘He has legitimate complaints. There are things going on that shouldn’t be – staff taking breaks, leaving people [residents] with no care, and a lot of instances of verbal abuse. There’s a general kind of neglect and lack of professionalism.’’
Children from Paremata Kindergarten watch as water cascades into the grounds during Thursday’s deluge. Porirua was hit by 36mm in one hour, causing businesses, homes and schools to be evacuated. A perfect storm of warm seas, a fastmoving front and dry autumn ground were reasons for the flooding. Porirua bore the brunt of the downpour, with five houses flooded and five schools closed. Most of the rain fell between 8am and 9am and many people said it came down too fast for them to do anything about it. Titahi Bay was one of the worst-hit places, but Whitby, Cannons Creek, Elsdon, Waitangirua and Tawa all suffered. Porirua City Council’s emergency operations centre activated at 10am and police, fire and ambulance services burst into action. Rangikura School, Titahi Bay School, Marearoa Marae and Horouta Marae all opened their doors to people who couldn’t get home.
More photos, P 12.