The family of an elderly woman tragically beaten to death at a Sydney nursing home have revealed they were told about the horrific incident via email.
Joan Hobbs, 89, was on July 17 beaten ‘black and blue’ with a walking frame by a male resident at the IRT Thomas Holt Aged Care Centre in the southern Sydney suburb of Kirrawee.
The 86-year-old man, who like Ms Hobbs was a dementia patient, had gone into her private room and bashed her in the disturbing ordeal.
She suffered severe injuries that left her face severely bruised and bones ‘shattered all the way down’ one arm.
It has since been revealed the family were only notified of the terrifying attack hours later via email.
Joan Hobbs (pictured), 89, was on July 17 beaten to death with a walking frame by a male resident at the IRT Thomas Holt Aged Care Centre in the southern Sydney suburb of Kirrawee
Ms Hobbs was beaten ‘black and blue’ with a walking frame by a male resident at the aged care home
In the email, seen by 7News, the centre said a registered nurse had assessed their mother and noted ‘a big bruise under the left eye and bleeding from chronic metastatic melanoma’.
‘Please feel free to contact us via phone for any queries,’ the email stated.
Ms Hobbs died five days after the email was sent.
Ian Henschke from National Seniors said the ordeal was ‘appalling’.
‘If children were dying or losing their lives in childcare because the staff were not sufficiently trained or there weren’t sufficient staff, we would be outraged,’ he told 7News.
‘We have to make sure lives aren’t lost without purpose.’
Meanwhile, Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said: ‘This is why we mandated 24/7 nursing in all residential facilities’.
Ms Hobbs’ death has sparked calls for more staff in aged care homes. (Pictured is RT Thomas Holt Aged Care Centre in Kirrawee)
Ms Hobbs’ distraught daughters said the incident would not have happened if the aged care centre had been properly staffed.
Erin Mulholland and Terri Hobbs, who are both nurses, said they don’t blame the man who killed their mum, but have demanded action so it doesn’t happen to someone else.
Ms Mulholland had cared for her mum for six years and never wanted her to have to go to a nursing home.
But her mother’s dementia got worse and doctors advised the family that she needed full-time care.
The family never thought another dementia patient would kill their mum in a place meant to keep them safe.
‘Eight weeks later, she’s dead,’ Ms Mulholland said.
Ms Hobbs’ daughters, Erin Mulholland and Terri Hobbs (pictured), who are both nurses, have demanded action to prevent other similar incidents
On July 17, the family rushed to Sutherland Hospital, where they saw the ‘devastating’ reality’ of what had happened to their mum.
‘When I saw the physical condition she was in, the injuries, I just, you know, fell apart,’ Ms Hobbs said.
‘Her left eye was swollen shut, you could see wounds on her arms, like defence wounds.’
Ms Mulholland said they had no choice but to ‘sit with her and wait until she died because nothing else was going to happen’.
‘I’m just mortified, absolutely stunned that something like this could happen,’ she said.
‘She wouldn’t understand what was happening, how frightened she must have been, terrified in those final moments.’
Ms Hobbs added that she ‘wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy, to see your mum hurt like that’.
Channel 7 reported that the elderly man who attacked the retired social worker had only been at the centre for two days, as a respite patient in a locked dementia ward.
The sisters say the system failed their mum and needs to be fixed.
‘There are not enough nurses on the floors and that’s a government issue they need to address,’ Ms Mulholland said.
‘We need more nurses per patient. How many more have to die before we do something?’
They don’t want charges laid against the man who killed their mother, and ‘hold no malice’ against a family they are sure is already suffering.
‘There’s nothing that can change what happened to mum now, but there is something that we can do to change what happens for other people in the future,’ Ms Hobbs said.
The family is now making funeral plans for their beloved mother, who would have turned 90 next week.
‘She was an intelligent, beautiful, compassionate woman,’ Ms Mulholland said.
The incident has been reported to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and a police investigation is also underway.