A group of young people in Whyalla has come together in support of a local aged care facility to be closed in less than a month.
- A Whyalla youth group is speaking out against the closure of a local aged care centre
- Residents have been given less than a month to find new accommodation
- Locals are concerned about the impact of moving on the residents
Last week, the 37 residents of the Annie Lockwood Court Hostel were told they would need to find somewhere else to live within weeks.
As one Youth Group member Harold Flam put it on his sign: ’37 people, 27 days, you do the maths’.
Emily Rawlings said the Whyalla Youth Group, which she founded, developed a connection with the nursing home just before the pandemic.
“Before I founded the group I used to visit the home every couple of months and perform for special holidays,” Ms Rawlings said.
“When the group started, we were invited to the home to perform for the residents.
“Now we have done over 20 performances in under 18 months.”
Youth group using their voices
The youth group got together over the weekend to create signs, write letters and cards.
“Unfortunately, most of the residents at Annie Lockwood do have dementia and Alzheimers.
“We know personally that this move is going to take a massive toll on them both mentally and physically.”
Devastation and confusion
Youth group member Hannah Spiegel, whose grandmother is a resident of Annie Lockwood, said her family was devastated by the news of the closure.
“When I originally visited her at Annie Lockwood to perform she would be so confused and ask me to take her home,”
‘It’s just so sad’
Group member Ellise Hill is also a member of the Whyalla youth group said she enjoyed visiting and performing for the residents at Annie Lockwood Court Hostel.
“Singing to them and being able to perform to them, and talking to them is so much fun,” Ms Hill said.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that if they do have to move that their families might not be able to visit as often,” she said.
“To think it’s only a month that they’ve been given to move out is shocking.
“22,000 people in Whyalla and this is the second aged care home to close. It’s just so sad.”