Media Releases

Aged care closures

October 23, 2019

The Morrison Government’s failure to meet demand for Home Care Packages and a shortage of aged care beds means those needing residential care, particularly in crisis, may have little or no choice, according to the Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers, Emma McBride MP.

Speaking in parliament today about the closure of a 14-bed dementia care unit at The Orchards in Lisarow and the 110-bed Henry Kendall aged care facility in Wyoming, Ms McBride said such closures were distressing news for families and unsettling for residents.

“The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is shining a light on poor practices in residential aged care. The health and welfare of elderly residents, their families and carers must be paramount.”

“In demanding best practice from aged care providers, which we must, we must also demand real action from this government.”

However , the Morrison Government has:

  • Failed to fix Home Care
  • Failed to give the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission adequate powers to keep residents safe and
  • Cut $2 billion in funding from the aged care system

“Those cuts, made by then-Treasurer Scott Morrison, have left some residential aged care providers, many in regional and remote communities, struggling to stay afloat.

“Without proper funding more closures are likely.”

Ms McBride said at least one elderly couple had been separated by the closure of the dementia unit at The Orchards.

“The couple purchased a low-care unit in the belief that they could move into a higher level of care in the same facility if needed.

“Sadly, the elderly woman did end up needing the support of the dementia care unit at The Orchards.

“Her family was informed, over the phone, that the unit would be closing at the end of October and they’d need to find alternative accommodation for their grandmother.

“Her husband still lives at The Orchards and the family could afford the $500,000 bond required to move their grandmother into another facility.

“The distance between the facilities makes visits for the couple difficult. The family is concerned that if their grandfather’s health deteriorates he too, will need to find a new home.

“The closure of aged care facilities is a concern as we have an aging population on the Coast and a shortage of beds, particularly for those with dementia.

“Providers need to understand that moving an aged care resident is like kicking them out of their own home; the health, relationship and financial consequences can be devastating. This government needs to act and properly care for elderly Australians.”