DUNMUNKLE Health Services board chairman Lloyd Milgate ‘honestly does not know’ what options residents might have for nearby aged care if the ageing Stonehaven Nursing Home is forced to close.
Mr Milgate said he was expecting a report from the State Government reviewing Dunmunkle Health Services before the end of the month.
But he said the 23-bed Rupanyup nursing home’s age could compromise its future.
He also said the region would be significantly affected if the government declared Stonehavenwas no longer financially viable.
“It is one of our major employers and would potentially put a lot of other health services at risk,” Mr Milgate said.
“It would bring us back to two health centres, one at Minyip and one at Murtoa.”
He said neither of those centres was primarily focused on aged care.
Without an upgrade, Mr Milgate said the nursing home would struggle to meet the nation’s health standards.
He said Stonehaven’s age was also detracting from its appeal to prospective residents.
“Two or three years ago, we were led to believe we were second on the list for replacement of that facility,” Mr Milgate said.
“That has since diminished.”
He said the Dunmunkle Health Services review report could also infl uence the board’s hopes to employ a new doctor.
“Once they’ve released their finding I think they should work through it with the community members,” Mr Milgate said.
Yarriambiack Shire Mayor Kylie Zanker said Rupanyup residents were passionate about their aged care centre.
“People are very concerned,” she said.
“It’s about the people in the community having a choice of where they want to spend the older years of their life.”
Cr Zanker said she could not imagine how stressful it would be to move away from family and friends after a lifetime in the region.
Cr Ray Kingston said Rupanyup residents were concerned about the way the government had run its review.
“Community consultations have focused on the threats to the service, including the high costs of maintenance and compliance due to the older buildings and the difficulties in recovering costs from the current funding sources,” he said.
He said the future viability of Stonehaven had been a community aspiration.
“There has been signifi cant local investment and input in maintaining the home ,” Cr Kingston said.
“To provide confi dence to the residents and the community, we need to have consistency and longer term strategic planning of our health facilities.”