Aug 16, 2021

Families protest as residents face uncertain future following aged care home closure

Families protest as residents face uncertain future following aged care home closure

With Annie Lockwood Court Hostel due to shut its doors within weeks, only about half of its residents have been able to source alternative accommodation.

The Whyalla, South Australia, aged care facility is home to 37 residents and was the site of a scabies outbreak last year.

It has also been the subject of numerous quality failings after being assessed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

In a statement last week, the board of Kindred Living, which operates the Annie Lockwood home, said only 19 of its residents had found new accommodation and that it will “continue to work closely” with the remaining 18 residents and their families seeking alternatives.

Resident families held a protest against the closure on the weekend, according an ABC report.

Batt’s mother lived at the home and died only last week.

“We’ve got an ageing population and if anything, we need more,” she said.

The board said “ongoing staff shortages”, particularly the “inability to secure adequate numbers of registered nurses”, had “forced” the closure, and the matter had been under consideration since late last year.

The board and management are meeting regularly with residents, families and staff to keep them informed.

Kindred Living’s other two homes have also faced pressure from the regulator.

“We are confident that improvements implemented at Kindred Living’s other two residential facilities in Whyalla address previous non-compliance concerns,” the statement said. 

Kindred Living’s board is composed of long-term Whyalla residents, all of whom are volunteers with a range of skills and experiences.

Sadly, with financial pressures on aged care homes mounting, particularly in regional areas, and a tougher regulatory environment in the wake of the royal commission, stories like these may be repeated in the coming years.

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