Salvation Army To Drop Nursing Homes
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 30, 2004
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND--Citing a lack of funding for institutional care and a general movement toward community-based supports, New Zealand's Salvation Army announced Monday that it will be ending its 70-year run in the nursing home business.
The charity plans to sell its 12 New Zealand nursing care homes, which currently house a total of 500 people, to other senior care providers.
Instead, the Army will focus on expanding its in-home services for homebound seniors and others with disabilities.
"The decision is in keeping with a wider trend for people to stay in their own homes and retain independence for as long as they can before moving to residential care," said Major Alistair Herring, the head of the organization's Services For Older People program, in a press statement.
Territorial Commander Garth McKenzie, in a letter to the staff, residents and families of residents of Salvation Army nursing homes, explained that many of the facilities were no longer equipped to serve the needs of those residents, and that upgrades would be too costly.
Dr. Lynda Scott, a National Member of Parliament, told the New Zealand Press Association Tuesday that the Army's move is the latest in a series of nursing home owner-operators selling or closing their facilities.
Scott urged the government to address what she called a "real crisis" in long-term care.
Salvation Army -- New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji Territory