Home's residents face uncertainty

JARED SMITH
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2012

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If Ngahuru Home closes, there will not be enough beds for all 24 of its residents to remain in rest-home care in Hawera.

Between them, Trinity Hospital and Rest Home and the Annie Brydon Complexnow have about 17 spare beds.

Both have received phone calls from concerned family members of those at Ngahuru, who learned on Tuesday the home may close.

Presbyterian Support Central management said "significant operating losses" were proving too much for the operator.

"We've been flat out all morning [with phone calls]," Calvin Kerrisk, director of both Annie Brydon Complex and Patea's Te Mahana Rest Home, said yesterday.

"It's quite sad really – not good," he said.

"Our rest home in Patea is full, so we can't take any more down there, so the only other one is Eltham."

Annie Brydon now has 11 spare beds from their full complement of 65, which includes hospital-care beds.

Mr Kerrisk said this was actually a lot – they usually only had a handful of vacancies.

"Once we're full, we're full. That's about all we can do.

"We'll certainly talk to Trinity [if Ngahuru closes] and it's probably in our interests to try and cater for everybody.

"That's what we probably all want, so everyone can stay local."

Mr Kerrisk said the situation was an unfortunate sign of the times.

"There's rest homes in Whanganui closing down.

"We've got a rest home down there and we're just inundated with people wanting beds down there."

Trinity's manager Daniel McQuillan said they had six vacancies out of a 62-person complement, including a dementia ward, which would not apply to those in Ngahuru.

"We have had inquiries from some of the families at Ngahuru about the possibility of moving to here. We'll play it by ear and see what people want to do.

"There's a process to follow with the District Health Board's needs assessment service to help people transition and make sure they move to somewhere that meets their needs," he said.

"Between the families, the DHB staff and ourselves I'm sure we can help sort them out – it just depends on how many."

Presbyterian Support is seeking feedback from residents and their families, which will be considered before a final decision is made after June 22.

Ngahuru was built in 1894 as a hospital, and was taken over by Presbyterian Support in 1975.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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