CENTRE UNCERTAINTY: Cr Springborg spoke out about the Inglewood facility’s future, saying a closure would hurt families.
CENTRE UNCERTAINTY: Cr Springborg spoke out about the Inglewood facility’s future, saying a closure would hurt families.

‘Heartbreaking’: Aged home’s excruciating uncertainty

STAFF at a Western Downs aged care facility are growing increasingly 'frustrated' at being left in the dark over the home's future.

On Friday, Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg asked Churches of Christ Care Inglewood Aged Care Service to make the plans for their facility clear, after he received numerous calls from families being advised to relocate their loved ones to Warwick, Stanthorpe or Toowoomba facilities.

Churches of Christ Care Chief Executive Officer Gary Edwards said fluctuating bed numbers were normal, and insisted to council the aged care home was continuing to take new bookings. 

"We have not advised any families to prepare to relocate their loved one from Inglewood Age Care Service to another facility outside the Goondiwindi region," he said.

"Our priority, as always, remains focused on continuing to provide our residents with the highest quality of care and supporting their health and positive wellbeing. We assure those who do have concerns that we are listening."

However, Cr Springborg was unsatisfied.

"Certainly this is a very emotive subject and frankly I don't think the response given so far has been good enough," he said.

"I'm also advised by Churches of Christ Care that the Inglewood Aged Care Service is experiencing low occupancy and is currently rostering their staff accordingly. While I acknowledge that CoCC has to make financial considerations about each of its facilities, I am asking that they give the community in Inglewood the transparency and certainty they need to make informed decisions about the future of their - and their loved ones' - care.

"As a Council, we will be continuing to advocate for the provision of an aged care service in Inglewood."

One carer at the Inglewood facility, who asked to remain anonymous over job insecurity, said the centre had shrunk from 11 residents to eight over the past few months - with residents being relocated on short notice. 

"It's heartbreaking," they said.

"Just the day before, I came in and found out a resident I was really close to had been transferred and I had not even been told. I was really upset, they were like family to me.

"They were there one minute, gone the next."

 

Churches of Christ CEO Gary Edward denies residents are being relocated to nearby facilities like this one in Warwick.
Churches of Christ CEO Gary Edward denies residents are being relocated to nearby facilities like this one in Warwick.

 

According to the whistleblower, staff had received no information other than a generic email indicating the centre would not close.

The carer said anxiety among staff was growing, as were concerns hours could be cut back from 64 hours a fortnight to 16.

"They could technically cut us back to 16 hours but no one can live on that," they said.

"My biggest fear is the place could go down to one person per shift. It would be absolutely crazy but I can see that happening."

Without the centre, Inglewood families would be forced to drive an hour to visit loved ones.

"We have one lady here whose family sees her after work, if they send her away, they will lose that opportunity," the carer said.

"It's just ridiculous."


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