REPRESENTING the residents at the Rossmoyne Retirement Village, Bernard Taylor rose to address City of Canning councillors at the Agenda Briefing, urging them to see people rather than profit ahead of a decision on the future of council-managed aged and disability services.
Citing a village that has seen the resident population drop from 46 to 35 within a year, Mr Taylor said he was concerned about the effect further attrition would have on the residents and village.
“The review of aged care and disability services is a great concern to many of us,” Mr Taylor said.
“We now have seven vacant units in the village, the number of residents has fallen from 46 to 35 over the last year or so plus we are all getting older and less mobile.”
“It has become increasingly difficult to arrange functions, or entertainment essential to a community building… delays (will) not improve the morale for village residents.”
The retention and operation of the Rossmoyne Retirement Village and the Wilson Retirement Village is the first officers recommendation on the provision the units have year-to-year leases and the development of a long term strategy for the units to be presented to council in June 2017.
Mr Taylor called on council to make a decision based on the people using the services in the lead up to the September 20 council meeting.
“Mayor Ng we especially request that on September 20 when you and you councillors make a decision it is not only buildings and money and valuable land that will be affected but also people, the residents of Rossmoyne Retirement Village,” he said.
“Please do not leave us waiting until the June 20 2017 on a decision on the future of our village.”
The plea comes after recent revelations the State and Federal Governments have pushed back the shift to a consumer led model of Home and Community Care (HACC) packages from 2017 to 2018.
Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland said the changes had put doubt over the findings conducted by Ansell Consulting.
“I think the whole perspective has change in the last two weeks and therefore all the assumptions we had from Ansell are no longer totally valid,” Mr Holland said.
“Is it true that no one will know how the dust will settle and the State Government I think it is due diligence that we appoint an independent consultant, it’s too early to choose an option like Ansell was proposing.”
Director of community development Tania Trengove agreed that was the case.
“It isn’t as urgent as we originally thought, we are still waiting on written information (from State and Federal Parliament) but we did have verbal confirmation from the state department that they will extend the city’s current contract from June 2017 to June 2018,” she said.
A decision will be made by councillors on September 20.
What councillors said about the aged care services
“I see what would be overwhelming support for the status quo…it seems to be the overwhelming feedback from the community was that they rejected all three of Ansell’s options and I wonder if that was taken into consideration when the officers constructed their recommendations.”
“Am I correct in assuming that the whole playing field has changed (after funding changes)… I would be expecting that expanding our services would be good due diligence because we have such a good reputation.”
“Does this mean it is just the status quo until we get a report back from an independent consultant?”
“With respect I think (the survey) is a skewed view, there were 188 respondents in total and of those 188 respondents, 184 of them had a completely vested interest and those comments to retain (services) are entirely what we would have expected, I say that with the greatest respect,
184 of 188 respondents were care service staff and volunteers, care service clients or family… there were only 4 other respondents who were genuinely independent and they all supported the contention we should stay as is but I thought I would bring it up because it skewed the figures.”
“Can we see that the empty flats opened and filled ASAP?”
“(Residents) rely on certainty.”
“Nothing is concrete at this moment, it is actually very fluid and your question is fluid too basically there is no solidity in any angles.”