News

Grief at mum’s aged home tragedy

Joyce Cockerell was assaulted by another resident at the Ballina nursing home.
Joyce Cockerell was assaulted by another resident at the Ballina nursing home. Contributed

WHEN Valmai Earle walked into Ballina's St Andrew's Nursing Home to visit her mother in August 2012 she couldn't believe what she saw.

Mrs Earle said her mother, 86-year-old Joyce Cockerell, was bruised and bandaged.

She was told her mother had been assaulted by another resident.

"I got the fright of my life because I hadn't been no-tified, and when I walked into her room she was black and blue, her legs were purple, her arm was bandaged and she was sitting in her chair," she said.

Soon Mrs Cockerell was moved to another room in the nursing home.

But the problems didn't end there.

On April 14 the following year, Mrs Cockerell was desperate to go to the toil-et, her daughter said, and called out to staff for assistance.

"When help didn't come she decided to go to the toilet by herself, without her walker, and she fell," Mrs Earle said.

"She was found on the bathroom floor suffering a broken hip and she had been there for an unknown amount of time while there was only one staff member on between noon and 2.45pm."

Doctors were unable to operate on Mrs Cockerell's hip, and she died 10 days later - leaving the family distraught.

Mrs Earle said she lodged a complaint with the Aged Care Complaints Scheme about the staff response to her mother's fall, her pain management after being assaulted, supervision of the resident who carried out the alleged assault, and neglecting to contact the family after incidents involving her mother.

The Aged Care Complaints Scheme recommended St Andrew's staff undergo further training and closed the case.

St Andrew's chief executive Pip Carter declined to comment on Mrs Cockerell's case, saying it was a separate incident from the current investigation at the home.

Topics:  assault, nursing home murders




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

BIG FREEZE: Northern Rivers struggles through coldest night

The Northern Rivers has had its coldest night of the year.

The cold snap hit the region in a big way overnight

The Hard Word: Ballina freezes over

Meridian Theory at Ballina Hotel for the Hell Freezes Over festival. Photo Asagai Images

There was more going on in Ballina than just cold temperatures.

‘Fish and chips, not fish and ships’ at Yamba

Yamba residents join with Greens to protest Iluka mega port.

Pop-up protest at Yamba today against Yamba port industrialisation

Latest deals and offers

Lantern Parade Volunteers

Volunteers load lanterns for the parade.

Lismore Lantern Parade 2016

Experiencing t he dancing, music, and lights of the 2016 Lismore Lantern Parade.

Samba Blisstas drumming crescendo

Percussion collective the Samba Blisstas rip out the beats at the 2016 Lismore...

OPINION: Should we give up the great Aussie dream?

Generic housing Rural View.

First home buyers are struggling big time

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.