Taihape Rest Home crisis - People must come first
Taihape Rest Home crisis - People must come first says Rural Women New Zealand
Rural Women New Zealand urges the Government to act on calls from the Taihape delegation to Parliament yesterday to delay the looming closure of the town’s rest home until a solution to its funding crisis can be found.
The rest home will close its doors this weekend, leaving 22 elderly and frail people with no local care options, after Otaihape Health Limited went into voluntary liquidation three weeks ago.
Residents are being moved to rest homes in Feilding, Palmerston North and Whanganui, many kilometers away from family and friends.
“Money is driving this decision, when we should be considering people first,” says Kerry Maw, Rural Women New Zealand’s health spokesperson.
“Looking at the big picture this ‘funding crisis’ is peanuts. With the right management this could be a viable service.”
The rest home closure disregards the OECD Ageing in Place strategy, to which New Zealand is a signatory.
“We are very concerned about the effects of loneliness and isolation on these vulnerable people when they are moved out of the community they have lived in all their lives, and where their support systems are,” says Mrs Maw.
Rangitikei MP Simon Power met with members of the Taihape delegation yesterday before they presented a 2900 signature petition to Parliament. The delegation raised concerns about the flow-on effects of this closure, which appear not to have been fully considered.
Rural communities are in constant fear that even the most vital services are being withdrawn simply to save money.
“It’s robbing Peter to save Paul. The social, economic and environmental impacts of this closure are more far-reaching than is being recognised,” says Mrs Maw.
Rural Women New Zealand calls on the Government to step in and delay the closure of the rest home until the community, liquidator and Whanganui DHB can find an acceptable solution that will work for all.