Shattered daughter reveals how she found her mother's dead body under tarpaulin in care home COURTYARD
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: A 65-year-old woman, Kaye Wilson, who had mental health issues and schizophrenia, was found dead in the courtyard of a private care home in April 2020. Wilson’s daughter, Georgia Wilson, narrates how she discovered the body under a tarpaulin in the home care, known as a supported residential service (SRS), and later learned that her mother was left lying on the floor for more than two hours.
According to The Age, Georgia told the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability on September 2, "I was appalled. Nobody had thought to move her to a bedroom or to place her anywhere less public or more dignified.” Georgia, who was informed by a GP that her mother had been hospitalized with a pulmonary obstruction, added, "I had been told she did take the medication by the manager." While narrating the details of discovering the body, the daughter said that she found her mother lying on the floor of an open courtyard, covered with a tarpaulin. "The whole environment just seemed odd," she said as quoted by ABC. She further added, "I put all of my trust in that manager and all of my trust in the Victorian government to do what's right. The manager lied, plain and simple." "What picture does that paint when we as a society put our trust in these people to do the right thing … and they don’t do it. And my mother dies as a result of that neglect," she told The Age.
Kaye, who was known in the Auckland music scene in 1970, moved into the SRS, which are privately-owned and operated facilities that provide accommodation and support for people who need assistance with everyday living, including people with disability, in February 2020. She paid $490 a week for a room with a toilet and shower, as per ABC. She was treated as “a number and a pay cheque” by the supported residential service, Georgia said, as reported by The Age.
"I remember [the manager] asking me on the day of my mum’s arrival, he said ‘Hey Georgia, do you have the NDIS papers?’ … And he looked at me and he said, ‘money, money, money’ and he rubbed his hands together … It makes me quite sick to talk about that now," Georgia recollected, and said, in April 2021, a year after she lodged a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, she was informed by an officer that the case was now closed. And two days later, she received an email from the department saying an investigation had found that "the supported residential service had failed to notify Georgia of Kaye’s deteriorating condition, Kaye’s physical appearance was not adequately addressed when she was living at the home and leaving Kaye in the communal area after she died did not afford her adequate dignity."
Anthony Kolmus, the head of the departmental unit that regulates supported residential services, told, "There’s a point at which an investigation closes but in that particular manner I think we could have done better. The whole circumstances were incredibly unfortunate.”