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Mercury article – Help offer as day centre shuts doors

Feb 05, 2023

A community group is trying to help southern Tasmanians rocked by the closure of a vital day therapy centre. Manor Gardens at Kingston, which provides support for people living with memory loss and/or social isolation, is set to close on Friday.

Community Based Support (CBS) has a Kingston social hub and respite centre and CEO Allyson Warrington said she was working with Manor Gardens to ensure people were not left without support.

“We have been working proactively with Masonic Care/Respect since they made the announcement that Manor Gardens would be closing,” she said.

“As a provider in aged care we do not wish to see our community members requiring services to be left without support, hence our discussions with Masonic Care Tasmania commenced very early.

“We’re working with Manor Gardens to transition clients to our centre, so they can continue to enjoy the supports they require and also their friends with whom they

are close to and enjoy being with.”

Susan Vanderheiden said her partner of 38 years, Noelle Rattray, would visit CBS on Monday to see what they had to offer.

“There’s no other choice really,”she said. “Noelle is very depressed and she hates change and will miss seeing the staff and people who are like family.”

Ms Rattray, 75, has early onset dementia and is heartbroken at the closure after visiting Manor Gardens twice a week, which she said had changed her life.

She will try the new centre. “It’s better than sitting at home and vegetating,” Ms Rattray said.

Manor Gardens has said it did not take the decision to close lightly but it was no longer viable.

Ms Warrington said she hoped there would be a smooth transition for people wanting to go to CBS. “Every day we are working with Masonic/Respect and clients and undertaking the necessary assessments and administrative requirements.

“At this point we have had 80 per cent of the clients through our property to view our facilities and meet our staff.

“There is a process required to transition clients which does take some time, although we are doing what we can as a provider to see things are done as quickly as possible.

“There are government requirements also due to the funding mechanisms for each client.”

Ms Warrington said the CBS facility was secure but was not purpose-built for dementia clients.

“Our aim is to ensure we have the appropriately qualified and capable staff caring for specific needs.”

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