Rawhiti closes its doors
A move to channel more funding into home care has ultimately led to the closure of Rawhiti Rest Home in Matamata.
Rawhiti Rest Home owner/ operator Barry Chapman says his family took on the service five years ago as a long term venture, investing time and money into the service.
‘‘You get to the point where you look at it purely at a business perspective, we have been financially propping it up. We didn’t want it this way, we were there for the long haul, but it hasn’t worked.
‘‘We are terribly sad that we have had to close it, we think Matamata is the loser. If someone was looking for a rest home bed in Matamata, I doubt there would be any at the moment.’’
The family-owned business which provided 24 beds and employment to 15 staff closes its doors on Friday.
‘‘When I told the staff that their jobs were going and then residents and their families that we could no longer sustain it, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.’’
He says with the DHB encouraging elderly to remain in their homes longer, opting for home help over funding rest home care, is putting a strain on rest homes nationwide, but that doesn’t take into account the company, activity and friendships rest homes offer.
Waikato District Health Board executive director of public and organisational affairs Lydia Aydon says she understood the company directors of Rawhiti Rest Home determined financial sustainability was an issue.
‘‘In this particular case the service was housed in a listed building which placed restrictions on opportunities for the owners to expand or add additional retirement units.’’
Small single-service rest home facilities were finding it difficult due to lack of demand, she says.
Chapman acknowledges it was challenging to operate but building restrictions did not play a part in the decision.
‘‘We actually had proposed plans drawn to expand, but when advised by the DHB that they were satisfied with the number of beds available at Matamata, we decided against the idea.’’
He says every resident from Rawhiti has been placed in other rest homes.
‘‘It has all been done carefully and gently and the transition has gone quite well.’’
Rawhiti Rest Home will close Friday.