Eye on Wellington: What’s the future of aged care?

CLOSED: Maranatha House is the only aged care facility in Wellington after Bellhaven closed its doors. Photo: ANTONIA O'FLAHERTY
CLOSED: Maranatha House is the only aged care facility in Wellington after Bellhaven closed its doors. Photo: ANTONIA O'FLAHERTY

With Wellington down to just one aged care facility, I thought it was important that we meet with Maranatha House Aged Care to talk about the future.

Along with CEO Michael McMahon and other Council staff, I met with the board of Maranatha last week and once again I found them to be a very forward-thinking organisation.

Unfortunately, the closure of Bellhaven Aged Care last month has left a gap for Wellington in both beds for patients and employment.

However, Maranatha has stepped up and indicated they want to expand again, after already increasing their capacity by 20 beds.

Not only that but they are also pushing for funding for an intergenerational child care centre that would allow interaction between the elderly and children.

Maranatha came up with the plan after investigating studies that showed a significant health benefit for people with dementia to interact with children.

The centre would be a first in Australia and could ensure Maranatha is ahead of the curve.

Over the coming months we will continue to meet with the Maranatha board and talk to them about their needs.

I have already written a letter to the relevant Federal and State Ministers, as well as local MPs, making them aware of the issue and imploring for their help.

It is my hope that I might be able to gain a meeting with Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt or NSW Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies and state the case for Wellington.

There is no doubt that residents and their families were put out by the closure but I hope the work of Maranatha and other agencies have made the move as smooth as possible.

Since council found out Bellhaven was closing, we have worked to try and find the best possible outcome and we will continue to do that.