Blue Care's Hibiscus Gardens aged care facility to close
BLUE CARE'S Hibiscus Gardens aged care facility will close - because the building itself is not capable of supporting an appropriate level of care.
The decision yesterday shocked those at the facility, many of whom cried after they heard.
Blue Care executive director Robyn Batten said most residents required high-level care in what had been designed as a low-level care facility.
She said it had become challenging to incorporate the modern equipment safely.
"Due to the poor layout and fabric of the building, Hibiscus Gardens has also struggled to maintain occupancy levels in recent years," she said.
The decision to decommission the site had not been easy, she said, but emphasised Blue Care staff would work with residents and their families to find alternative care.
"There will be no cost to residents for relocation and no date will be set for the closure," she said. Woody Tryhorn (pictured) has been a resident for two and a half years.
"It hit me pretty hard because of my anxiety but I was able to go outside in the open air and breathe," he said.
"The news broke to us just hours ago," he told us last night, "so it's hard to think logically with no knee-jerking reactions".
The 69-year-old said residents had been told the age of building was reason for the closure.
"They've got to put a new sprinkler system in and the cost is humungous," he said.
"Now I don't know where I'll go."
In April there were rumours a Gladstone facility was closing, but regional director of services Michelle McKay said the Edenvale facility was being refurbished and during that time a number of rooms would be kept free at Hibiscus Gardens.
The 33 staff members are expected to be relocated to other Blue Care divisions.
The Thrift Shop opposite the facility and the adjacent Blue Care Cooinda rental units are not expected to be affected.