Town’s home care ser­vices cri­sis

Albany Extra - - Remembrance Day 2018 - Saskia Adysti

There is a se­vere short­age of res­i­den­tial care ser­vices in Den­mark, with one ratepayer rep­re­sen­ta­tive say­ing the is­sue is driv­ing older peo­ple from the town.

Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics fig­ures have re­vealed Den­mark res­i­den­tial care ser­vices are se­verely short of de­mand, with more than 1200 peo­ple aged 55 and over in town, but only enough fa­cil­i­ties for 16 peo­ple.

Den­mark Ratepay­ers and Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Bev­erly Ford said Den­mark re­tirees of­ten had to move to Al­bany or Perth to re­ceive res­i­den­tial care ser­vices.

“We have 16 aged care beds in the hos­pi­tal and we don’t have any de­men­tia care in Den­mark at all,” she said.

“If they’re lucky they might get a place in Al­bany — but if they aren’t then they have to go to Perth and leave all of their fam­ily and their sup­port net­work groups, which could end up be­ing very stress­ful for them.”

Res­i­den­tial aged care ser­vice Ama­roo Vil­lage has been in­vited by the DRRA and the Shire of Den­mark to look at the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pand­ing its ser­vice in town.

Ama­roo chief ex­ec­u­tive David Fen­wick said his or­gan­i­sa­tion was look­ing to build a res­i­den­tial care home to ac­com­mo­date 40 se­niors, sub­ject to li­cense ap­proval from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

“Den­mark is a rapidly grow­ing re­tire­ment des­ti­na­tion in the wider Great South­ern Re­gion,” he said.

“Within the re­gion, there are cur­rently 8015 peo­ple who are aged over 70 years.

“Mean­while, there are only 471 res­i­den­tial aged-care places avail­able in the re­gion, with an ad­di­tional 205 places al­lo­cated but not yet op­er­a­tional. “While there are a num­ber of providers in the Great South­ern Re­gion, there is lim­ited pro­vi­sion of ser­vice in Den­mark, and Ama­roo is in the es­tab­lish­ment phase of pro­vid­ing this ser­vice.”

Mr Fen­wick has been in­vited to at­tend the DRRA meet­ing next Wed­nes­day to dis­cuss the topic in de­tail.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the DRRA meet­ing, con­tact the Shire or visit the DRRA Face­book page.

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