Joy and relief for Whyalla as non-profit elderly care provider Helping Hand saves 200 jobs

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Aged care services are set to remain in Whyalla as nonprofit Helping Hand acquires Kindred Living, securing more than 200 local jobs.

Helping Hand took over management of Whyalla care homes for the elderly in November 2021, after the closure of the Annie Lockwood facility, which was blamed on staffing issues and a difficult year for the sector.

Temporary management of Helping Hand was due to end in November, but CEO Chris Stewart said the nonprofit has decided to permanently acquire Kindred Living, meaning Whyalla will not be left without a caregiver. the elderly.

“There are a lot of homes, especially in the regions, that are closing, which is really sad because these older people are being displaced from their communities and families,” he said.

MP for Gray Rowan Ramsey said while Helping Hand couldn’t stay in Whyalla he was unsure a new operator could have filled the void.

Helping Hand will now lobby for federal government funding to upgrade the Yeltana nursing home. (ABC News: John Gunn)

“It was really the only option for us on the table, I don’t know where we would have found another operator,” he said.

Mr Stewart said Help Hand’s priority now would be to seek more federal funding to upgrade the Yeltana Nursing Home, so residents can have their own bedrooms and bathrooms.

During the last federal election, the Liberal Party pledged $10 million to Helping Hand to upgrade the facility.

Mr Stewart said the company would now sue the Labor government for similar funding.

“We just have to keep working to get those capital funds into those homes because they really need it,” he said.

Helping Hand operates nine aged care facilities, supporting 7,000 residents and employing 1,900 people across South Australia.

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