Listening to Mornings with Jon Faine this week I was frustrated, though not surprised, to hear North Western Mental Health is closing Weighbridge Residential Aged Care Facility. Half a million dollars has just been spent upgrading the facility and reportedly there is a shortage of psycho-geriatric care beds in Victoria.
North Western Mental Health describes the newly upgraded facility as ‘outdated’. We’ve heard that before in Monash! Our much loved Monash Gardens and Elizabeth Gardens aged care residences were said to need modernisation with swimming pools and gymnasiums to meet new market requirements! Never mind their wonderful design, success and the welfare need they meet.
As my parents’ public owned residential aged care facility is in limbo between the sale and handover to the new owners the stress on family, carers and staff caring for the residents was all too familiar. Public owned facilities typically set quality benchmarks and can provide a level of care, including psycho-geriatric care, not readily available in the private sector.
We live in the ‘Information Age’ where apparently information about whatever we want to know is available online – or is it? I have been searching for information on the closure of the Weighbridge Aged Care Home. Thus far my search has not been very fruitful. Why not I ask?
One of the main reasons the closure of residential aged care facilities is not front page news is that it is not an election issue. A State election is nearing in Victoria but will any candidate campaign on aged care? Would you vote for a candidate because of their stand on the sale of aged care?
If you would vote on the issue of aged care how do you determining who to vote for? Daniel Andrews MP and Jenny Mikakos MP have openly opposed the sell off of public aged care. However Monash Councillors who are members of the same political party voted to sell off the residential aged care facilities owned by the Council. The only way you can be really sure who to vote for is to get a written statement from your local candidates on their stance on the sale of public aged care and the actions they are prepared to take.
How can those community members who want to protest against the sale of Weighbridge Nursing Home, a public aged care facility proceed? Here are a few suggestions – please add more to the comments on this post.
- Write to Mental Health Minister, Mary Wooldridge MP and ask her to stop the sale
- Contact your local candidates for the Victorian State Election
- Write/ ring / or email Leader West and other media
The lack of information can be at least partly overcome by community use of social media. Use Twitter and Facebook and please let Empowering Monash & YOU know of any updates or protests.
More information on Weighbridge Nursing Home closure:
ANMF Media Release: http://anmfvic.asn.au/news/44424.html
Melbourne Health web site: http://www.mh.org.au/2014-closure-of-weighbridge-residential-aged-care/w1/i1017973/