RSL LifeCare joins forces with struggling regional NSW aged care home

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The Not For Profit has merged with the 20-bed ADA Cottage run by the Rylstone Kandos Aged and Disabled association in Kandos, 230km northwest of Sydney.

The association’s board chairperson Johanna Marr (pictured left with Cottage manager Heidi O’Neill right) says the Cottage had made the decision in order to keep its doors open. “Each management committee since early 2000 understood that an aged care facility with less than 40 beds was not a viable option. This figure is now 60 beds,” she said.

A previous merger with regional facilities in nearby Mudgee fell through in 2013.

RSL LifeCare presented ADA’s management committee two options: use RSL’s services for a time at no cost; or amalgamate with the larger operator while keeping its name and financial assets; with the second option receiving the thumbs up.

“It’s something we always resisted,” Mrs Marr added, “but to be honest the paperwork was drowning us and there have been more cuts to funding and more legislative changes, making it impossible for small facilities.”

In a plus for the local community, all 27 staff will also keep their jobs while any money raised by the association will stay with the Cottage.

The handover is expected to take place on October 18 with the Cottage adding to RSL’s 44 aged care and retirement facilities in NSW and the ACT.