Ageing options needed

A study into aged care on the Eastern Eyre Peninsula found that by 2026, the region will be home to 187 people aged 85 years and older.

Verso Consulting conducted the study after the Cleve District Council received a letter of concern in regards to the lack of secure aged care in the district.

The study revealed the population of people aged 70 years and older was projected to increase by 31.5 per cent to 200 people between 2011 and 2026.

In order to cater for the ageing population, the study showed there will be a need for 65 residential care beds by 2026, with 30 or more of these residents likely to have dementia.

The study estimated a new residential facility would likely to cost between $16.25 to $18.2 million.

The Cleve District Council considered the study at its most recent meeting and weighed up the three options presented by Verso Consulting to cater for the future aged care demand.

The first option was to facilitate a non-government provider to build and operate a 65 bed facility which the Verso Consulting study said would only be viable in one location and could be a long process.

The second option was to mount a strong campaign to lobby state government to rebuild three separate facilities which is a more costly option and was, according to the study, unlikely to be successful.

The third and most suitable option – to pursue alternative solutions and limit lobbying to advanced dementia unit – would boost home care in the region by building three housing clusters and also includes the council lobbying Country Health SA for a dementia unit.

Verso Consulting said this would put control back with the council and community.

Cleve District Council deputy mayor Bryan Trigg said the need for aged care facilities on the Eastern Eyre Peninsula were extremely high.

“This is definitely money well spent,” he said.

The council decided to progress the matter by adding selected actions to current and future annual business plans.

Verso Consulting also met with 41 community members in Cleve, who revealed their concerns for aged care in the district. The meeting also indicated there was a lack of knowledge of the home care services available.

Country Health SA provides home care and in its strategic planning stated it “places significant emphasis on enhancement of home care as the primary focus on meeting future aged care demand.”