The Timaru Herald

Fairlie’s Moreh Home set to close

- Esther Ashby-Coventry

Fairlie’s Moreh Home is to be closed after 42 years’ use as a home caring for the elderly and frail.

Mackenzie District Mayor Graham Smith said it had been a ‘‘wonderful caring home’’ but it was not sustainabl­e going forward as government regulation­s meant it could not continue as in the past.

Smith said there was a push from the Government to keep people in their own homes for longer. Moreh had never been designed at a rest home and perhaps the Fairlie community would look at a purpose built home for the future, Smith said.

He said the community had made the decision to close it and residents were in the process of being relocated.

The former cottage hospital building was establishe­d as Moreh Home in 1979 and ensured the elderly and lonely did not have to go out of district for residentia­l care.

Registered nurse Alison Neill, who co-founded the home, worked there until retiring in January at the age of 88.

‘‘It was Alison Neill’s gift to Fairlie,’’ Smith said. Neill said government compliance issues had led to the home’s demise.

‘‘It probably should have been licensed 18 years ago, but when we set it up there was a small loophole allowing us to accept residents that would not have been accepted under Government criteria,’’ she said.

Residents were asked to pay what they could afford towards their costs, and relied on donations to make up the shortfall, Neill said.

Because it was not regulated, the home did not receive any Government support, she said.

Conforming to Government rules and regulation­s would have seen the costs double, and the home would have had to house a minimum number of residents, she said.

‘‘I would have loved to have seen it continue.’’

Neill believed the future care model would likely see elderly buying or building their own unit in a community hub which has a support system, and hospital level care when needed.

‘‘It’s change, it’s the way of the world,’’ Neill said.

 ?? JOHN BISSET/STUFF ?? Alison Neill outside the Moreh Home in Fairlie.
JOHN BISSET/STUFF Alison Neill outside the Moreh Home in Fairlie.

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