Nursing home chaos: ‘We don’t know what’s going on’
"WE don't know what's going on here."
Emotions ran high outside the gates of the under-siege Earle Haven retirement village yesterday afternoon as its frail elderly were caught up in a staff dispute with the owner.
Family of roughly 70 residents inside the Nerang village's aged care facility felt a growing sense of panic as the drama unfolded.
Police offices and ambulances arrived in rapid succession as cars driven by the concerned offspring of its elderly residents descended on Lawrence Drive.
Families rushed in and out of the facility urgently seeking answers to where their loved ones would be going.
As rapidly thawing fridges and food were wheeled away, the tension finally overflowed as relatives burst into tears outside the gates.
Inside, things weren't gong much better.
Confusion reigned for the residents who had witnessed the walkout of staff and fears grew they would be left with food to eat last night.
Many residents, suffering from dementia and other mental health problems, were caught in the middle of the storm they could not comprehend.
"A lot of them don't understand, one person I know here is a bit funny, he went up to the counter and demanded a meal in the middle of all this," one resident told The Bulletin.
"I said to him, 'You don't understand'. They are struggling to understand what it's all about, apart from being told they have to wait, 'There's nothing we can do, but you will be fed'."
One long-time resident of the home said the dramatic events were a "complete shock".
"We were told HelpStreet have gone into receivership and then suddenly there were five ambulances here," the resident told the Bulletin last night.
"There's no staff to look after all these people or serve the meals. They're telling us they have it under control but it's a hell of a to-do.
"It's terrible. We are all wondering what the hell is going on."
One woman who was visiting her two parents aged in their 90s at the retirement village said she was shocked to discover she was not allowed inside.
"It is disgusting, all of the fridges were gone, no one knows where the medications are," she told the Bulletin.
"My parents are both in their 90s and have dementia, we haven't been told anything."
"We have no idea where they are going, or what they are doing tonight where they are getting moved to or if we can get some answers."
Queensland Health later clarified all meals were served.