New aged care beds much needed investment in Mayo
The Federal Government’s announcement of 248 new aged care places in Mayo is a much needed investment into residential services in the region, according to local MP Rebekha Sharkie.
“Mayo is the oldest electorate in South Australia and the sixth oldest in Australia and the demand for residential aged care services in our community was clearly outlined to the Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt when he visited our region last year so I am delighted with the Government’s announcement yesterday,” Rebekha said.
“We have a number of small community based aged care facilities throughout Mayo and we desperately need investment in our regional aged care services.
“I have been pleased to support the hard work of the Strathalbyn community to highlight their aged care needs and January this year I met with the management of the Summerhill Clayton Church Homes in Uraidla where there is a long waiting list for a bed.
“An increase of 35 beds will significantly benefit the long-term viability of this small facility and will be welcomed by locals who want to stay in their community when they need residential care.
“I am particularly excited about the prospect of a new residential aged care facility on Hindmarsh Island, offering up to 75 beds, for our Southern Fleurieu Region.”
On Tuesday Minister Wyatt announced 13,500 new residential aged care places across Australia, worth $907 million a year, along with a $60 million worth of capital investment to finance construction of new and extended aged care homes.
SA was allocated 497 places and $10 million in capital works.
Estia at Aldgate received the largest allocation for Mayo with 96 places and Coorong Quays Aged Care (a new facility) received 75 places.
Clayton Church Homes Summerhill was granted 35 places, Country Health SA was allocated 12 places at the Strathalbyn and District Aged Care Facility and Mount Barker Residential Care Service was given 30 places.
Until this latest announcement, 2016 figures for Mayo showed there were 24 residential facilities in the region offering about 1550 places.
Rebekha said she hoped the Government’s recent announcement would be the start of finding a long-term funding solution for smaller facilities in regional areas.
“There’s little benefit in a brand new building or more beds if the underlying issues of staffing and funding shortfalls have not been addressed,” Rebekha said.
“A good first step would be for the Government to follow the recommendations of its own parliamentary committee and implement the measures in my Private Member’s Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2018.
“Disclosure of staffing levels may not be a panacea but is a meaningful step in the right direction and it is what consumers expect.”