Minister responds to Aveo scandal

Behaviour that leads to the exploitation of elderly and vulnerable will not be tolerated.

Minister responds to Aveo scandal

Yesterday, the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, issued a statement on retirement homes regulation saying that behaviour that leads to the exploitation of elderly and vulnerable Australians will not be tolerated by the Turnbull Government.

Retirement village operator Aveo has been accused by residents of bad business practices including “churning, gouging, safety issues and misleading marketing”.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of older Australians is of paramount importance to the Government, and we will be taking meaningful action to ensure this kind of behaviour is not tolerated, is dealt with accordingly, and that the necessary regulatory framework is in place to prevent it from happening,” said Mr Wyatt.

In response to the recently highlighted cases, the Government will consider all the recommendations of both the 2007 Parliamentary inquiry, Older people and the law and the 2011 Productivity Commission review, Caring for older Australians.

“Older Australians should be able to feel safe and secure in their aged care, and not be subjected to mistreatment or abuse of any kind,” said Mr Wyatt.

What do you think? Is the Federal Government doing enough in response to the highlighted cases and allegations about current practices? Should we be calling for a royal commission into the retirement homes industry?

Read more at health.gov.au
Read more at abc.net.au

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    COMMENTS

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    Captain
    28th Jun 2017
    10:11am
    They will consider two previous reviews!!!!! One from 10 years ago and one from 6 years ago.

    What have both sides of the house been doing with these reviews in the intervening years and does "will consider" mean anything other than leave it alone for a month or two and the issue will go away for another couple of years.

    Do these cretins earn their wage by actually doing something for the good of the country and their constituents or cooking up schemes to benefit themselves?
    ex PS
    29th Jun 2017
    8:28am
    Simple answer about what they have been doing. PROTECTING THEIR STREAM OF DONATIONS! Exactly what we have come to expect from this government.
    These are the businesses that the government wants to give billions of dollars of tax breaks to.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    10:12am
    "exploitation of elderly and vulnerable Australians will not be tolerated by the Turnbull Government."
    Are you kidding. The government knows what is going on. Both sides of politics know what is going on. Have for decades but nothing ever done except talk when the media runs a story and I doubt whether this time around will be any different.
    There is an election coming so perhaps there will bit of tinkering around the edges.....but business as usual likely.
    Chris B T
    28th Jun 2017
    10:51am
    I would had hope by now all these various contracts would past Federal ,State and Law Society serenity.
    Far more Pro Active Measures from ALL Federal/State and Law Society most of the entrants to the Retirement village's would had a Law professional to check the The Contracts Out.
    So what where they paying for????????????
    AutumnOz
    28th Jun 2017
    2:36pm
    As I understood from the 4 Corners programme the solicitors checked that the contract terms were legal NOT that they were fair to the client.
    It seems to me the solicitors consulted are as much to blame as the owners for the problems suffered by the elderly in the Retirement Villages.
    It is a shame all the people who have been ripped off cannot get legal aid to take out a class action against the Villages.
    Chris B T
    29th Jun 2017
    9:13am
    I haven't any Dealings with these sort of contracts.
    The one's where I used a Solicitor would have highlighted and made us to intial. If they Thought was bit to much the vendor's way would strike it out and intial.
    Zicky
    28th Jun 2017
    11:15am
    Politicians. If it was a report/review of their pay rise then they would act as swiftly as Usain Bolt but, for this fool Ken Wyatt to tell us he'll consider reports from 10 years and 6 years ago is treating us with total disdain. We'll be waiting at the ballot boxes Ken and Malcolm.
    Chrissy L
    28th Jun 2017
    11:43am
    Yes, there should be a Royal Commission into this industry. The rate at which it is growing and the amount of new retirement villages springing up all over the country is indicative that it is a license to get rich quick from these developers. Whilst it is important older people need good, safe, easy to manage accommodation in their later years, it is vital that their interests are protected from greedy, gouging developers. I personally looked into the possibility of moving into one of these type of establishments when widowed, however, came to the conclusion that many of them were just a rip off, with their exit, refurbishment fees and weekly service fees that increase yearly. There are some genuine ones out there, often freehold, with limited recreational facilities and lower weekly service fees. It really pays to do your homework and don't get taken in with all the fancy facilities, many of which you probably won't use anyway. Personally, I think the best option is to downsize to your own smaller manageable place, in a local community that has many options and activities for Seniors, where no-one tells you what you can or not do and you personally get all the capital gain.
    "That's Freedom" in my opinion.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:23pm
    The good thing is that only around a quarter is represented by the scumbag company and ones like it as a whole. Most are not for profit and, I assume, not involved in asset stripping elderly people.
    As with all contracts READ THEM. Only one person to blame if that does not happen.
    kevinc
    28th Jun 2017
    11:49am
    As usual it takes a 4 corners tv, programme to perhaps stir some action, being reactive again.

    will look at a report done in 2007, ? only 17 years ago, its e embarrassing.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:25pm
    Criminal behaviour is normally hidden from view. It takes a media report to expose it. What people should be asking is why not on Seven and Nine? It always seems to be the ABC which puts the (unwelcome) truth to the people. So whose interests are the major media outlets in their batting for?
    KSS
    29th Jun 2017
    12:25pm
    You must be the sort of accountant AVEO seeks out kevinc.

    2007 to 2017 is 10 years not 17! :-)
    dougie
    28th Jun 2017
    11:52am
    Take some action please. I looked at my wife and I retiring to a Village but when we realised the costs that we would bear both before - during and after our residency we felt that it was too much slanted to the operators. Unfortunately this applies to both private developers and church operated sites. When I questioned the high costs of selling a unit after we passed on, I was told by one sales person "well it really is not going to worry you then is it."

    As a further aside to the Census, no wonder interest in religion is waning, churches are generally no longer there to offer help and assistance at a time when needed by the parishioners, but generally are run as a business with the bottom line the main concern.
    Still I suppose that they have to make money to pay for the claims on them by victims of abuse.
    Just get out there and do something to restrict their claims on estates after people have passed on and to see that residents are treated fairly and with dignity.
    mIKER
    28th Jun 2017
    2:01pm
    My sympathies are with Dougie and his wife, but there are some marvelous Church sponsored homes. My mum in law spent nearly a decade in one in Hammondville and we couldn't be happier with the care she received.
    We lived interstate, but visited at least monthly and at odd hours particulalrly if I was on business in Sydney. We always found the staff welcoming, professional and totally caring.
    Mum sadly sustained Alzheimers in her later years and the level of support for her remained as good as ever.
    Cheer up Dougie there are some residential care places that really do care, I hope you find one.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:28pm
    My wife told me she listened to Hadley talking to people about this industry yesterday.
    Apparently there are some operators who take NIL when you pass on and give your descendants market value for the unit and the units are on freehold title rather than leasehold. A win win. As always shop around and maybe ring Fair Trading to get a pointer in the right direction.
    Hope you make a wise choice dougie.
    Tom Tank
    28th Jun 2017
    4:10pm
    miKER I think you are referring to an Aged Care Home where care is supplied to the Residents. This article is about Retirement Villages which are quite different.
    dougie
    28th Jun 2017
    4:59pm
    Thank you all for your wishes and support. We have made the decision to remain in our home with our friends about us and with some support in our home chores and transport etc from Aged Care and we will look for upgrading as required.
    To us this seems to be the best option and as we spend our later years together in surroundings that we favour and thankful to receive some help with our home maintenance etc. That way we are beholden to no-one and fortunately we have family who would love to take us in and care for us. This we would not do as they have their lives to live.
    Crimmo
    28th Jun 2017
    11:56am
    Governments will be aware of and condone these business practices. If not, they have not done their job. The Minister for Aged Care is paid a salary and benefits, for what? The Minister is merely trying to save face and carry on regardless. It is all in the name of Capitalist Democracy, where anything goes, so long as you stay under the radar. Advance Australia Fair, the greatest con ever imposed on the Australian people.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:30pm
    Governments understand and know what is happening. Lateline reported that AVEO had made a $1 million donation to the Liberal Party over a few years. So the government has been bribed again. Same deal with the coal industry? What about the Greyhound Industry? Methinks there is a pattern of elected corruption appearing here.
    Rosret
    28th Jun 2017
    12:04pm
    I am glad to see you and the press have run with this to protect us all from these retirement scammers.
    ex PS
    29th Jun 2017
    8:33am
    Notice the so called free press has sen nothing. It was the so called Lefties in the ABC, who as usual broke the news that effects so many.

    If it wasn't for the ABC, we probably would never have seen just how bad it was. Might have something to do with the amount of advertising these companies spend with the commercial stations, you can do just about anything and slide under the radar as long as you have enough money to spend on advertising.

    So often it is not until the ABC breaks a story that the commercial networks are forced to take them up.
    Arthron
    28th Jun 2017
    12:05pm
    Why has it taken this long for this minister to get off his arse and look at a report that is ten years old?
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:31pm
    Because his Party and others are accepting money from big business and the rich. That in any other forum is called corrupt behaviour.
    Sceptic
    28th Jun 2017
    3:12pm
    Hang on, if the report is ten years old that makes it that it came out in 2007, Wasn't the ALP elected that year? That gives six years for the ALP to act on it, and another two years for them to act on the Productivity Commission's report. Current Government has had four less than four years. I think that Arthron may be putting all of the blame on the current minister for some reason.

    Disappointed that Mick has joined him and not corrected him.
    ex PS
    29th Jun 2017
    8:41am
    What part of the year did the report come out and how did that relate to the election? Let's try and keep ,petty politics out of this, we all know that it would not be unusual for a report to be held back until after an election in order to provide a nice little booby trap for a new party to find.
    It is a disgrace for all political party's to have put this in the too hard basket. I am for one am sick and tired of hearing governments trying to put the woes on the country on to the previous government, if it was a private company and a CEO tried that on, he/she would be sacked in the first year, why are we holding our so called leaders to a lessor standard.
    mIKER
    28th Jun 2017
    12:12pm
    No wonder the Coalition, News Corp and sundry right wing media folk all want to get rid of the ABC. The ABC has again shown that big businesses like Aveo, Banks and Financial institutions are all happy to exploit pensioners with incomprehensible contracts and a cavalier attitude to plundering their wealth. Get rid of the ABC and investigative reporting will disappear; so the cronies donating big bucks to right wing parliamentarians can continue robbing and exploiting the people who built this country.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:32pm
    Correct.
    The ABC seems to be the only major media outlet which reports. The others look the other way because they are either owned by wealthy people or controlled by same.
    ex PS
    29th Jun 2017
    8:45am
    You just have to look at how much the commercial networks make in advertising to see the answer to these questions.
    Look at Queensland in the time of Joh, if a paper threatened to print a story that showed his government in a bad light, he would phone the Editor and threaten to pull government advertising. Money will win out against truth any day.
    floss
    28th Jun 2017
    12:15pm
    This government hurt their mates and supporters I don't think so.
    Eclair
    28th Jun 2017
    12:29pm
    If the government wasn't already aware of the individual cases of chicanery exposed in the Four Corners report, they are incompetent and deserve to lose office. When citizens have such problems, their local MP is usually their first port of call yet the government is acting surprised. We will find many unscrupulous foreign investors attracted to such an unregulated industry. The people behind Aveo should be prevented from ever doing business again in Australia. The proceeds of sale from all their harbourside mansions wouldn't be compensation enough for their victims' trauma. Apart from the stories in this show, how many more victims have gone quietly to their graves with no one knowing how the ends of their lives were blighted by these unethical scoundrels.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:37pm
    Yes....but voters do as the BS media wants because the propaganda run as 'news' is not. I took careful notice at the last election where I tuned into None News. The routine broadcast was Turnbull given longs stints, shown at primary schools and children's hospitals and clearly groomed by the positive commentary. On the other hand Shorten often got a 5 second exposure and often had irrelevant or awkward sentences broadcast so as to create doubt in the minds of voters.

    People need to take careful note of propaganda and resolve to vote for what is right irrespective of what the bastards try to do.
    Triss
    28th Jun 2017
    3:07pm
    Yes, Mick, and have you noticed that all the wives are trundled out for a couple of weeks, lots of hand holding and adoring looks...then you don't see her again until the next election.
    Curious
    28th Jun 2017
    12:38pm
    The minister is really oping out his responsibility to resolve the mal-practices of the retirement home developers and operators. If he has to go back to reports back 6 years ago for answers. God help us, the senior citizens. It means, since the report, the recommendations have been collecting dusts and no actions have been taken to keep safe the vulnerable senior residents of these developments. Shame on you, Minister, for your inertia. I support the call of a Royal Commission with immediate interim actions by the Minister.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:38pm
    They have no intention of bringing in stringent controls and penalties. If they do that there goes donations from the sector.
    Hardworker
    28th Jun 2017
    12:45pm
    The best way to retire is in your own home paying only for the services you need. Unfortunately life has become so fast that a lot of elderly people find themselves alone with no-one to help them. This is being taken advantaged of by big business. Any fool could have predicted that the aged care industry was the next big money spinner. No Government cares how people are treated. They only care that someone else, not them, is providing accommodation for the elderly. It means investment in Australia, providing a service to the community and jobs, jobs, jobs. It's no wonder they have cut funding to the ABC and have tried to get rid of it altogether because they continually expose these rorts. Without the ABC the community wouldn't be aware of half these rip-offs. Don't rely on the Government doing anything. They will do a big song and dance but nothing constructive will happen.
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:38pm
    Correct and well written.
    sooty
    28th Jun 2017
    1:18pm
    It is bad enough that these blood sucking bastards get away with this but, what about the shifty no-good legal brains that drew up all the rules. These mongrels need to be deregistered and I hope they die a slow terrible death
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:39pm
    Governments could easily regulate this industry but do not want to. That tells a story!
    Triss
    28th Jun 2017
    3:19pm
    I'd love to know if any of the politicians have shares in any of these complexes.
    Crowcrag
    28th Jun 2017
    1:19pm
    I thought for about a minute, and then realised I did not know who the Minister for Aged Care was, or indeed, whether there was one. I believe this reveals a lot about what he has done in the past. Perhaps he should the actual meaning of the word 'minister' first. It would make a start, at least.
    Triss
    28th Jun 2017
    3:32pm
    Hasn't Ken Wyatt recently taken over from Sussan Ley who resigned after all the scandal over her travel expenses?
    Rocket
    28th Jun 2017
    1:39pm
    I wholeheartedly agree with most of the comments made regarding this issue and can also can back up dougie regarding some church operated sites. My wife worked in one for a number of years and witnessed bullying of the residents and recriminations if any complaints were made. There were supposed rules regarding privacy of the residents which was continually abused by certain staff. The census showed that 1 in 6 Australians is aged over 65 so what a voting bloc that makes us so lets get stuck into our local members and find out what they say about this disgrace.
    Exponential Thinker
    28th Jun 2017
    1:57pm
    I agree with what Captain has said, (a previous comment) love his comment, the government will take peoples mind off this issue with some red herring fake news, like they always do.
    It has become very obvious that those in government have to toe the line; their independent thinking is eroded very quickly, there is only a handful that has the Australian people’s interest at heart, their job is difficult, however, I believe that by doing the right thing they could make a difference.
    miker
    28th Jun 2017
    2:34pm
    Just hope that Wyatt follows through with his stated intention, not the usual up front indignation followed by inaction after the fuss all dies down. AVEO is a cruel blunt instrument for ripping off the elderly run by Lawyers and Accountants. Their whole Charter needs to change
    MICK
    28th Jun 2017
    2:42pm
    I'm not holding my breath. After a while people will forget (remember the offshore tax havens???) and people are put onto a new topic. Then ministers let it go. I'll be a monkey's uncle if this one does not play out like this as well because THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT TO REGULATE THIS INDUSTRY.
    Of course if the government bans donations and pay-offs in all their forms it will be easy to introduce controls.
    chris
    28th Jun 2017
    2:53pm
    maybe it is time to estsblish a star system.Organised by a trustworthy reviewer, and results then published yearly. If the crooked gouging operators had NO TAKERS for their establishments that would sort them out.
    Triss
    28th Jun 2017
    2:59pm
    So the plump, well-fed, financially well-padded politicians are going to look into the exploitation of retirement home residents. Just like ten or so years age when recommendations were made to clean up and not acted on.
    There are plenty of residents in the retirement complexes that are more savvy than the uncaring pollies so let's have a committee made up of them, after all, they live there so they probably have a better knowledge of how to change the corrupt practices than government.
    Joy Anne
    28th Jun 2017
    3:34pm
    Its not just AVEO, this applied back in 2004 with other Retirement places.
    Liverpool Anne
    28th Jun 2017
    3:42pm
    Don't hold your breath! If it was the pollies going into aged care, the change would happen so fast, you would be blown away in the wind
    apache
    28th Jun 2017
    3:50pm
    Why is it always after a 4 corners, or whatever program that the Government becomes aware of these appalling situations ? I watch question time and wonder if they could stop acting like children bagging each other and discuss some of these problems and their policies. No wonder polies do not like ABC I say Thank God we have these programs to shed the light on injustices etc..

    28th Jun 2017
    4:50pm
    I'll believe it when I see it !!!

    28th Jun 2017
    4:50pm
    I'll believe it when I see it !!!
    Not Senile Yet!
    28th Jun 2017
    5:05pm
    It works out Cheaper to go on a Cruise Ship endlessly....better service....treated like a customer......constant change of scenery...and cheaper more qualified Doctors/ medical Staff
    and best of all.....real chefs with real food!
    Added bonus...constant change of scenery and people and free entertainment!
    Maybe the Govt should buy shares and let them look after our Retired until they have to go into a Nursing Home for fulltime care!
    As for fixing anthing....absolute lies!
    Both parties have been on the take from these corrupt companies for 15-20yrs!

    28th Jun 2017
    7:27pm
    abhorrent is the word reading this article "elderly being taken down" it shows the many traps to steal elderly Australians of their money or property, yet reading mick's comments reminded me of his remarks to a question in an earlier article in regard of his raising the rents on his properties his words, not mine, you don't know what you are talking about because you don't know what it is to own properties this by the same man who boast in these columns of every year taking a three months holiday overseas, see saturday's travel, I say good luck to him but don't be a pharisee and attempt to be seen as a good guy by standing up for the elderly while increasing his rent and yes I travel overseas to see my family but do so at no expense to anybody but myself, something mick will find hard to substantiate
    recyled
    28th Jun 2017
    8:04pm
    Having watched the 4 Corners program, I am filled with such a rage that this sort of behavior is prevalent in Australia and goes unchallenged by governments and the legal fraternity.

    Surely manhandling a tenant into a psychiatric facility with subsequent investigation proving that that she was not suffering from any mental illness should be the subject of a criminal investigation.

    The contracts forced on tenants appear to be deliberately confusing, particularly to the elderly, and designed to separate the tenants from their hard won assets as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    To add insult to injury, I suspect the multinational company (Aveo) responsible for these despicable practices will also increase their profits due to the Governments reductions on company tax.

    I also take exception to one of the comments regarding church run (i.e. Catholic)
    aged care facilities. Having been involved in a Church men's group (mainly over 60's) who run raffles, fetes and other fund raising activities to help support these Catholic funded Aged Care facilities, I strongly dispute the accusation that the Church runs these facilities to pay "for the claims on them by victims of abuse".

    As a practicing Catholic involved in Parish finances and practices, I share an abhorrence of what was done to vulnerable children within the Church just as it was perpetrated by Policeman, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Other Religions, Teachers (Private and Government), Scouts, Government entities, Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, Actors, Family Members and Neighbors.

    The current Catholic church has now imposed a robust framework around those who not only are exposed to children's environment's, but those who deal with potential vulnerable members of the Parish. This includes arms-length reporting of suspected abuse, police checks in the form of Blue Cards, and also compulsory attendance at relevant presentations, and ongoing advisory notifications.

    This applies to Parishioners who assist in the Communion service, watering the garden, welcoming those entering the church, counting the collections, members of the Parish Council, members of the Finance Committee, and anyone else who engages in the multiple roles that make up the Parish environment. At the grassroots level, the Catholic Church is more about the Parishioners and less about the Church hierarchy. We are all now under the microscope. Is this the same for other organisations and entities?
    Retired Knowall
    2nd Jul 2017
    4:10pm
    I suppose you will will donate to Pell's crowd funding to pay for his defence.
    recyled
    2nd Jul 2017
    7:10pm
    No, I will not donate to Pell's defence. I will however be proactive to ensure this situation does not occur again within the church. What specifically are you going to do, Retired Knowall, to play an active part in preventing abuse? It is very easy to sit on the sidelines taking pot shots at low hanging fruit, but an entirely different matter to take ownership of a problem and take active steps to address the issue. Keen to hear your reply.
    Retired Knowall
    3rd Jul 2017
    2:01pm
    I will make sure my siblings stay as far away as possible from religious groups. I have seen first hand how the holier than thou groups operate.
    CindyLou
    28th Jun 2017
    8:24pm
    It's awful that some elderly folk are being ripped off. It ppears they have been let down by so many; organization itself; their solicitor; the government minister etc.

    But...I don't understand why these facilities appear to be so popular - if an individual purchased a low maintenance villa wouldn't that be better - then hire a cleaner, get food delivered by supermarket and or meals such as lite and easy. Join local seniors groups etc.
    Has to be better than these thieving companies ? Instead of high fees, pay for services to support you in your own home. ???? That would be my choice.
    Radish
    3rd Jul 2017
    7:21pm
    No one is forcing people into retirement villages. It is their own choice.
    The Four Corners show was about "retirement villages" NOT 'aged care".
    BundyGil
    5th Jul 2017
    8:38pm
    As usual. LNP minister making soothing mirror (we'll look.into it) noises while doing ALAP (As Little As Possible).
    coco
    9th Jul 2017
    7:15am
    it's not just the getting in or out of the villages, when they are in a village there is usually a preferred provider for inhome services, which is fine but the managers aren't allowing any information in about alternative services. A bit like the old ford, you can have any colour as long as its black, which goes against any of the intent of Consumer Directed Care, which is about choices, bit hard to make when you are denied access to alternative info, other then what is passed on through word of mouth from "outside"
    Blossom
    10th Jul 2017
    3:27pm
    I would like to point out that some Retirement Villages have units (usually one open space room with ensuite) that are classed as semi-independant. Entry fee is less - "board" is 85% of pension. It includes meals, room cleaning and sheets & towels supplied and washed weekly.Supervision of medication is also included.
    For those unable to shower themselves their is a small fee. Most have laundries in which they can do their washing or you can pay to have it done if you have nobody who can do it for you. My Mother lived in one for a few years until she needed to go into a high care aged facility.
    micky d.
    15th Jul 2017
    7:00pm
    A mass of hysteria on this article. Governments being blamed left, right and centre by the usual mob of anti-government whingers.
    Not one person who has signed a contract to enter a Retirement Village has been forced to do so. It has been their own choice. Nothing at all to do with Government.
    When my wife and I chose to enter our contract we did so after consultation with our lawyer at the urging of the Village Operators.
    We realised, full well, that our financial commitment and likely future costs were to be traded off and balanced by the lifestyle enjoyment that would be provided to us.
    Anonymous
    16th Jul 2017
    5:45pm
    never thought to see the day of having a micky even if it got a d with brains on life choices, what a contrast to labor micky's inane rantings and ravings in these columns!
    johnp
    17th Jul 2017
    2:29pm
    Must admit I havent read all the posts here, but will ask the question anyway. Does anyone know who the owners are of the "not for profit" aged care villages ??
    Bulla
    11th Aug 2017
    3:22pm
    Robbing people of their rightful entitlement and filling their own coffers is what these so called elected rep of people are doing, in the name of work we all see them how they pounce upon each other's throat with all kind of accusation and get paid extremely high amounts of salaries, bonuses and pensions for doing nothing and of course the money they make from illegal sources.When you see some one is robbed and you don't react ,don't forget that it is going to be next time you.The past of these people is very well known ,from convicts to now and continue in future..
    Manc
    16th Nov 2017
    1:56pm
    I’d rather shoot myself than go into one of those aveo hell holes
    johnp
    16th Nov 2017
    2:17pm
    I was very surprised that Frances Whiting supported AVEO as she was a speaker at one of AVEO events that was advertised by AVEO


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