Elderly told to find new homes
An Invercargill rest home will close in three months, leaving some residents concerned they may have nowhere to go.
Renich Rest Home residents and their families were told at a meeting on Friday that the home was closing and they had three months to find new accommodation.
It is home to 13 tenants - five aged 90 or over - the oldest about to turn 95.
Naomi Knipe, 85, who has been a resident for two years, said she was "gutted" she had to find a new home, adapt to it and make new friends.
"Here, I'm happy," she said.
Daughter Betty Smith said residents at the home, which was bought by Takitimu Home Anglican Care Trust six years ago, were devastated.
"It's like a family home here."
Some of the residents were left wondering where they were going to live, she said. "They could have handled it with a bit more compassion. She [Naomi] absolutely loves it here. It was absolutely heartbreaking."
Mrs Knipe's son, Lawrie Knipe, said closure was mentioned two years ago but they had been told a decision was to be made in October. They were told the decision was brought forward after the resignation of a registered nurse.
Under the section on Renich Rest Home on the Eldernet website it says: "We are not accepting new admissions due to the impending closure of this facility, which is anticipated to be on 31st October 2012."
"Why have they suddenly decided now, with only three months to go? It's poor business practice," Mr Knipe said.
It appeared that if residents could not get into a home in Invercargill, they would have to go to surrounding areas such as Riverton and Winton, he said.
"Closing a rest home is not like closing a dairy . . . these people aren't items. They aren't a manufacturing tool. They're people," Mr Knipe said.
Residents were upset and worried and some thought they would be left on the street or pushed out of the city.
When contacted by The Southland Times yesterday, Takitimu Home Anglican Care Trust chairman Rod Jordan hung up and did not answer the following five phone calls.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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