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What an Avershame

Aversham House on Cole St. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

21-bed resthome to close within the next month
Closure of Aversham House a ‘financial decision’

Story by Soumya Bhamidipati

Residents of an established Masterton rest home could be relocated to Carterton or Greytown after facility owners announced its closure.

Aversham House owner Francois Lategan said all 13 residents inhabiting the 21-bed rest home on Cole St would need to be rehomed.

“We’re working closely with Focus,” he said, referring to Wairarapa District Health Board’s needs assessment and service in Masterton.

“We’re working closely with the residents and families.

“We’ll slowly be moving residents out over the next two weeks.”

The home’s residents had all chosen to live at Aversham and would be involved in choosing their next home, Lategan said.

“Part of the process with Focus and the residents is finding a place that will suit their personal and clinical needs. We take that quite seriously.”

It was unclear exactly when the home would close, as management would need to wait for the last resident to leave, Lategan said.

One resident was still on the waiting list for another aged care facility.

“At this stage, it’s a little bit up in the air.”

He bought the 21-bed rest home on Cole St, which had first opened almost 30 years ago, about three-and-a-half years earlier.

“I’m a businessman. It’s just a calculated business decision,” Lategan said of Aversham’s closure.

“It was purely a financial decision. Regardless of what people think, we appreciate the fabulous support of the DHB and the community, and we’ve enjoyed being part of it for the last three-and-a-half years.”

The average length of stay of the residents was about two and half years, he said.

The longest resident of the home had been there for about five years.

“They were obviously sad [to hear the news],” Lategan said.

“We didn’t close the rest home just for lack of a better idea.

“At the same time, we also have a responsibility towards everyone to do what’s right and closing it was the right decision.”

Lategan was a registered nurse and worked in clinical research in Auckland before moving to Wairarapa.

He initially began running the rest home “to make a difference”.

“I’ve always had an interest in the elderly,” Lategan said.

“It’s that idea of manaakitanga. In English, it means hospitality, but it’s also about respect and service.”

Wairarapa DHB chief executive Dale Oliff said it was working closely with residents and other parties “to make sure that they are well supported during this challenging time”.

“We know that receiving the news of its closure will be difficult for them and their families, as well as for the staff. Our thoughts are with everyone concerned,” Oliff said.

“There is a sufficient number of beds available in Wairarapa, and all affected residents are able to be accommodated. However, it may mean a move to Carterton or Greytown for some.

“We will be working hard to identify the most suitable care options and solutions that best meet the needs of each of the residents and their families.

“I am grateful to Aversham House for its excellent service and focus on the well-being of residents over the past three-and-a-half years

“The facility has been home to many, providing quality care and meeting the needs of our older people in Masterton.”

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