‘Plight of Elderly Overwhelms Welfare Groups’ – Chinese Media Critical of Australia’s Treatment of the Elderly (Chipperfield, M. South China Morning Post, May 08, 2008, p. 10)

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The South China Morning Post, one of Hong Kong’s major English-language dailies, recently published a story on the plight of Sydney’s elderly.
Relaying first how 64-year-old migrant Jorge Chambe lay dead in his state housing flat for a year before his body was discovered, the article discusses a new study that claims hundreds of older Australians across New South Wales are living in “severe domestic squalor.”

Professor of Psychological Medicine at The University of Sydney, John Snowdon, is quoted as saying: “Across the state, at least 500 elderly people at any one time need help because they are living in unacceptable conditions.” Social worker Kathinka Linahan goes on to recall a scene at one eastern suburbs home: “The house was knee-deep in newspapers, empty medication containers and plastic bags. And because the woman was incontinent, she never made it to the toilet.”
The article concludes that, despite the efforts of organisations like the Benevolent Society and Catholic Healthcare, Sydney’s elderly continue to die alone – the bodies of a Gosford couple found after a time in April.
Please scroll down to the end of The Village Manager to read the full report.


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