SYDNEY (Good Medical) – An elderly man suffering from Parkinson's disease and suffering from dementia has received ten times more drugs and unexplained bruising when he died in an Australian long-term care facility. .

An investigation by the Royal Commission on the Australian Elderly Care Industry began its hearings on Monday after a series of reports of dementia patients with restrictions, assaults on patients, overdoses, prices abusive and mediocre care.

The first witness in the investigation, Barbara Spriggs, whose husband died in 2016 at the Oakden Elderly Mental Health Service, in southern Australia, said she did not did not know why her husband was dead.

"He had been over-medicated, had severe bruising, was dehydrated and was suffering from pneumonia. To this day, I do not know what happened to Bob, "Spriggs said during his investigation in Adelaide, in the state of South Australia.

Spriggs said the center was in a state of obvious disrepair, but that her family had no choice but to keep her husband because she was unable to take care of him at home.

"The Oakden facilities looked like something from the 19th century," she said.

"Bob was lying on a bed with just a sheet under him, there was no seat on the toilet, only paper towels in the bathroom. It was like a prison.

The shares of the four largest publicly traded companies, Aveo Group, Estia Health Ltd., Japara Healthcare Ltd and Regis Healthcare Ltd, previously considered an attractive exposure to the aging population of Australia, have fallen since the announcement of the survey, last September.

They each lost at least one-fifth of their value, wiping out nearly $ 1 billion of their cumulative market capitalization.

Unlisted players, such as Bupa Aged Care Holdings Pty Ltd, the country's largest elderly services operator in terms of market share, have also been the subject of heartbreaking revelations and are limiting the damage.

The Royal Commission, which will hold 16 sessions of public hearings, is expected to hear poignant testimonials from elderly patient families, as well as from industry leaders.

The Royal Commission's board, Peter Gray, said he has received responses from about 900 of the 2,000 licensed elder care providers in Australia, as well as more than 800 public submissions. Many of the public submissions directly related to substandard or unhealthy care.

The government-sanctioned investigation is expected to provide an interim report on October 31 and a final report by the end of April 2020.

Report by Colin Packham; Edited by Michael Perry