Pyramid Hill aged care home closes doors

By Charmayne Allison

THE Respect Aged Care Facility in Pyramid Hill has announced it will close its doors at the end of the year.

The local aged care home currently houses 16 residents and employs 30 part-time staff members.

While the official close date is November 30, Respect Aged Care managing director Jason Binder said it may be sooner.

“In reality it is when we find suitable accommodation for all residents at the home,” he said.

The small size of the home and increasing costs – in contrast to little or no increases in government funding – have forced the closure.

“The home was projected to lose nearly $400,000 this financial year, and has lost more than $1.1m over the last five years since we've operated it,” he said.

“We've been operating the home at a loss for the good of the Pyramid Hill community for a long time but increased cost pressures in the aged care sector has meant we are unable to continue to provide the service.

“We’re an important part of the regional Victorian aged care sector, so it’s important that we’re sustainable and can maintain great services in our other locations.”

While Mr Binder acknowledged the news would be upsetting to residents and staff alike, he said the facility was doing everything possible to support them through the transition.

“Ten residents have already found suitable alternate accommodation,” he said.

“More than half of the residents come from communities outside of Pyramid Hill and many have gone back to their original community or a community where they can be closer to family.”

Mr Binder said there may be opportunities to relocate Pyramid Hill’s staff to Respect’s Cohuna or Swan Hill homes.

“We will be actively working with each individual to help promote their skills to other operators in the region as well,” he said.

“There are 11 other aged care providers within 50km of Pyramid Hill and we hopeful that all staff who want to keep working can obtain jobs with Respect Aged Care and other providers.

“Two thirds of the staff live in communities outside of Pyramid Hill, as far as Bendigo.

“It can be a challenge to find good qualified aged care workers in regional Victoria so it’s important we don’t lose their skills to the sector.”