The Government has announced a $10 million funding commitment to support Helping Hand Whyalla-based aged care services.
The $10 million investment will allow for the renovation and upgrade of Yeltana Nursing Home including the building of a new wing and addressing some outstanding maintenance issues at the Copper House Court facility.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has said the announcement should go a long way to addressing the community concerns raised by the closure of the Annie Lockwood facility last year.
“We have only one provider of aged care in Whyalla,” Mr Ramsey said, “and this will be the catalyst for Helping Hand to move past a temporary management phase to becoming the permanent operator in Whyalla.
“I am very pleased with this funding announcement which will ensure the long-term viability of aged care services in Whyalla and provide the first-class care our elderly.
“Last year at the time Kindred Living were seeking to exit management I said the most important step was to secure new management and address the immediate problems and then I would set about securing the finance to bring the facilities into the 21st century.
“We have largely completed the first part of that task and I thank Minister Colbeck for the significant support provided to Helping Hand to get this far, now we have secured the finance and take the next steps.
“I worked closely with the Minster to find a solution to the crisis when Annie Lockwood closed am pleased this funding will help Helping Hand upgrade and expand the current facilities.
“I congratulate Helping Hand, an organisation with great respect in the industry and the skills to successfully bring a high level of care to Whyalla and its aged care community.”
Helping Hand CEO, Chris Stewart said the commitment was a big win for the local Whyalla community and for aged care services in regional Australia.”
“Helping Hand is extremely grateful to the Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP and the Morrison Government for making this commitment which will help to upgrade these aged care facilities and lift the standard of aged care services across Whyalla.”
“Yeltana Nursing Home has many shared bedrooms and communal bathrooms which are unsuitable. This investment will allow the conversion to single rooms with ensuites and rectification of a range of building issues in Yeltana Nursing Home and Copper House Court, to provide safe and dignified care.”
“We know that aged care services across regional Australia are under pressure, and it is investments like this that will help to ease that pressure and deliver improved services and care to the community.”
Mr Stewart said at least 12 per cent of the Whyalla population was now aged over 70, with a significant percentage of over 65-year-olds also requiring assistance with self-care, mobility and communication – creating a significant and growing need for enhanced aged care.
“Helping Hand entered this arrangement with the intent to fully integrate as part of our twelve-month management agreement,” Mr Stewart said. “We have worked extremely hard with the Kindred Living team to improve the quality of care and operational performance of the service”.
“This announcement allows us to continue with our acquisition and integration process with even greater confidence and we are on well on track to ensure aged care services continue to be delivered in Whyalla for the long term. We understand how important this is given Kindred Living is the only aged care provider in the Whyalla region.”
Helping Hand already provides home care services across the Lower North, Barossa Valley, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula – coordinated through community offices located in Clare, Jamestown, Port Pirie and Port Lincoln. Helping Hand also has residential care homes in Clare, Port Pirie, Jamestown and throughout Adelaide.
Established in 1953 and part of the UnitingCare Australia network, Helping Hand is a not-for-profit organisation, supporting 7,000 older people and employing 1,900 staff across South Australia.
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744 April 26 2022