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Inside aged care: Resident locked in her room with no shower for 45 days

A Melbourne woman says her 75-year-old mother, an aged care resident, has been locked in her small room and unable to shower for 45 days.

In a heart-wrenching interview, Sam Jensen-Muir told Neil Mitchell that her mother, who has dementia, is calling her in tears every day.

“She is literally crying to me every day, saying she would rather die than to continue to live like this,” she said.

Press PLAY below for the full interview.

Ms Jensen-Muir’s mother is a resident at Princeton View Aged Care, a state-run nursing home in Brighton East.

Residents at the home were locked down on August 18 after a COVID-19 case was detected.

The home was cleared of COVID-19 last Monday, but residents are still locked in their rooms.

Ms Jensen-Muir says she can’t fault the staff care, and workers at the home are frustrated by the strict directions set out by the Public Health Unit (PHU), which they have to follow.

“I have no doubt that the PHU has got the best intentions, trying to keep them safe from COVID, but they’re forgetting everything else,” she said.

“That’s 45 days locked in a room that’s smaller than a hotel room!

“They can open a window but they can’t go outside, get any exercise, they can’t feel fresh air on their faces, they’re not allowed to shower for 45 days.”

CEO of Leading Aged Services Australia, the peak body representing aged care services, said Ms Jensen-Muir’s mother’s situation “doesn’t sound right and it doesn’t sound fair”.

“We know that aged care providers are doing everything that they’re instructed to do,” he said.

“What we’ve been looking to do is to get that balance right between protecting people from the coronavirus … whilst also trying to do our best to ensure that they get the right compassionate care.”

Press PLAY below for more.