UPDATE Wednesday 9am: The manager of the AdventCare Golden Square aged care facility slated for closure has been offered the opportunity to run another facility, in an arrangement between the organisation and Royal Freemasons.
Jacqueline Hiscox, the current facility manager at Golden Square, has been offered employment by Royal Freemasons at its Flora Hill facility.
It is understood many current employees will also be offered positions with Royal Freemasons.
“Our employees and residents have come to know each other well over the years and it is wonderful these relationships will continue, which will help make the move easier for everyone,” Pastor Graeme Christian from AdventCare said.
All AdventCare employees, including those moving to Royal Freemasons, will be paid full entitlements in line with their employment agreement and length of service.
AdventCare will continue to operate its independent living units and those residents will remain in their homes.
Under the partnership, those residents will be able to access Royal Freemasons home care service for meals, social support, home help and transport assistance.
EARLIER: AdventCare will close its aged care facility in Golden Square in March, leaving 40 employees out of work.
The company’s chief executive officer David Reece said low occupancy rates at the 50-bed facility had caused considerable financial losses.
The 36 residents have been offered places at Royal Freemasons in Kangaroo Flat and Flora Hill.
Mr Reece said Royal Freemasons will make offers of employment to as many current AdventCare staff as possible.
The 24 residential units at the site will remain open to existing tenants, according to Mr Reece, who did not wish to comment on future uses for the aged care facility site.
“Some of the residents have been here (aged care facility) for a while, it’s their home. We wanted to try and provide a good alternative for them,” he said.
Residents have the option to go to a facility other than the Royal Freemasons, according to Mr Reece.
AdventCare workers, residents and family members attended a meeting at the facility on Tuesday evening where company executives delivered the news.
An AdventCare employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said the atmosphere within the facility “hadn’t been great” since the company gave notice of the meeting at the start of January.
“All residents have been upset, worried and not been able to sleep (since the meeting was announced),” the employee said.
“Some of the single older ladies are not going to be able to cope.”
The employee said many residents, some of whom had developed special relationships with staff at the facility, were in tears at the meeting.
In a letter to AdventCare residents and families, Mr Reece said the facility will close on March 31 “due to increasing competition in the region”.
“We appreciate that a change in provider and the move to a new home will be concerning for some of you, and we hope as we give you more information this will ease any anxiety that you have,” the letter read.
The Bendigo Advertiser attempted to contact the Health Services Union for comment.
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