Residential Care Homes in South Australia are in Dire Straits

Proprietors of supported care homes in South Australia are moving to cut services to residents after reaching an impasse with the State Government over funding.

The Supported Residential Facilities Association says the funding crisis has reached a critical stage and more homes will close without increased Government support.  Many of their residents have highly complex needs including mental and physical disabilities.

SRFA president Andrew Marshall has written to Families and Communities Minister Jennifer Rankine warning that some services will have to end and a fee introduced for others.

“As part of our review we are looking very closely at the ongoing provision of high cost services such as medication supervision, incontinence management, laundry and personal finance support,” Mr Marshall said.

“The Government will need to consider employing external service providers or referring agencies to provide these services.”

Mr Marshall said the Government had overseen a steady decline in funding to supported residential facilities in recent years and the situation would deteriorate further following the most recent funding allocation.

Many homes had closed since 2000 because they were no longer viable which had resulted in more than 400 beds lost. Today about 35 facilities provide care and accommodation for about 1000 people.

“SRFA members are now in a more precarious financial position than ever which is grave news for our residents who are already some of the State’s most marginalised individuals,” Mr Marshall said

“The commitment of private sector SRF proprietors to their residents is unquestionable but maintaining the level of care is unrealistic without adequate State Government support.”

Mr Marshall said that as part of its review a detailed list of services was being prepared. This would include a fee schedule for some services and notification of those which would not be provided after December 1.

Coober Pedy Regional Times