Families left shocked as aged care residents forced to find new home in a month
Families of aged care residents say they are shocked after being told they are being impacted by the closure of three homes, giving them until the end of May to find a new place for their loved ones to live.
Wesley Mission is closing its three remaining aged care homes in Sylvania, Carlingford and Narrabeen by the end of next month.
Nearly 200 residents will be impacted.
Family members Daryl and Donna Paul said he had no idea the homes were closing.
“It was quite a shock,” Daryl said.
“Mum doesn’t want to move. She’s very happy here and that will be the hardest part actually saying to her we need to find you somewhere else,” Donna said.
Another family member Julio Villagran said it was even more of a shock after the aged care homes had treated his mother with end-stage dementia well.
“The pain is that this place has been great and so that’s just part of the shock,” he said.
“The staff know her and how to react to her. Her eye contact, her non-verbal cues.
“If she goes to another place it’s going to be very difficult, very difficult for her.
“It’s going to be very difficult for everyone.”
CEO Reverand Stu Cameron said the difficulty of finding workers and the government implementing staff ratio requirements has forced the closures.
The federal government is reforming aged care by hiring registered nurses to work in homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week by July 1.
Providers have reported finding difficulty in recruiting staff to meet the requirement.
“The Aged Care sector is experiencing challenges to workforce and flow-on impacts from the national reforms to Aged Care. Wesley Mission supports these once-in-a-generation reforms, improving quality for all care users,” Cameron said.
“It is, however, a challenging environment to be a smaller provider.
“With just three aged care locations, our offering in this area is small compared to the large and diverse range of community services we provide around NSW and across Australia.”
Aged care coordinator and placement provider MyCarePath will help residents in the three Sydney homes find alternative places to live.
“At this stage, we anticipate closing our centres at the end of May 2023, and before then, we will be doing all we can to support residents in choosing a new home that meets their needs,” Cameron said.
Cameron promised no centre will be closed until every resident has found a new placement, with specialist staff on hand to help.
“Our hearts are aching for residents and their families, the impact this has on them,” he said.
“We do not underestimate that and we will do everything we can to ensure that every resident finds a suitable, appropriate home that matches their needs.”
Cameron said the company will also help staff at the three homes find a new role or a job at a different provider.
Family members told 9News they are appalled by the way this has been handled after being told on Tuesday just three hours before a meeting. Some claim staff were only told an hour before that.
Industry experts are not surprised by this closure, saying current conditions are not sustainable.
The latest federal health department data for June to September 2022 suggests more than 66 per cent of aged care providers failed to make a profit.
Across the industry, losses added up to $465 million – around $28 per resident per day.