A regional South Australian aged care home due to close on Friday is still home to 16 residents, 10 of whom have nowhere to go.
- Ten residents at Annie Lockwood Court are yet to find new homes
- The Whyalla aged care facility is due to close on Friday
- Operator Kindred Living says residents will not be forced to leave until they find accommodation
Annie Lockwood Court in Whyalla is being shut by locally-owned operator Kindred Living, which said it was not able to find enough skilled staff to keep the facility open.
The facility’s 37 residents were given less than a month to find alternative accommodation, but many have not been able to.
“The best outcome with our immediate challenge is that everybody that wants to stay in Whyalla gets to stay in Whyalla,” local state MP Eddie Hughes said.
Ten residents with nowhere to go
Kindred Living says residents without alternative accommodation will continue to receive care at Annie Lockwood Court, despite the arrival of the closure date.
Twenty-one residents have already moved out, with all but six able to stay in Whyalla.
Of the 16 remaining residents, six have confirmed places elsewhere in Whyalla and are expect to move in coming weeks.
However, 10 residents have not found alternative accommodation.
Mark Cunningham said his father, John ‘Ian’ Cunningham, was moving to a one-bedroom unit also managed by Kindred Living, but that did not alleviate the stress of having to relocate.
He said along with the stress of packing up his belongings, his father was now trying to deal with extra financial concerns.
“He’s not sure how much money he’s going to have left over and he’ll have to change all of his accounts and his direct debits,” he said.
Mr Cunningham said his father had to spend thousands of dollars buying furniture and homewares for his new unit because he had sold his original belongings when he moved into his furnished room at Annie Lockwood Court.
“Dad’s on the pension, he hasn’t got a lot of money. My brother’s been helping out and just trying to pick up bits and pieces where [he] can,” he said.
Not enough beds in Whyalla
Annie Lockwood is one of three nursing homes in Whyalla run by Kindred Living.
Mr Hughes said even including the beds at Annie Lockwood, there were not enough beds in Whyalla to ensure locals needing a place did not have to leave town.
“So it’s not like the metropolitan area.”
He said the aged care sector in Whyalla needed federal government support to maintain the number of beds required.
Kindred Living did not respond to a request for comment.
It has previously said it could not replace staff who recently left the facility, and therefore was unable to adequately staff Annie Lockwood.
The company has assured families that residents who have not found alternative accommodation by Friday, August 27, will not be forced to leave.