14 Jun 2011

Retirement village defends care of man found dead

7:24 pm on 14 June 2011

A retirement village operator is defending the level of care provided to a man whose body was not found in one of its apartments in Wellington for more than a week.

An inquest has been held on Tuesday into the death of 85-year-old Richard Giese, who died in 2010.

Mr Giese's body was found on 8 March after a neighbour at the Rita Angus retirement village told staff she had not heard him playing his flute for a week and the lights in his apartment had been left on.

A post-mortem suggested that Mr Giese was likely to have died soon after he was last seen alive in late February.

His widow, Myra Giese, told the Coroner that the Ryman Healthcare-owned facility was advertised as a 'caring community' and she assumed that residents would be regularly checked on.

However, Ryman Healthcare's North Island regional manager Susan Boness told the inquest that level of care was only provided on request at a charge of $6 a day.

The Coroner has reserved his decision.