‘We could see his heart and spirit break when we told him..’
THE push to achieve some sort of aged care facility in Kilkivan, so that the elderly residents of the former Kilkivan Shire are not forced to leave the community when they need a certain level of aged care, drew a mixed response in social media comments this week.
Some supported the push, saying the Kilkivan Shire Council had provided pensioner flats, meals on wheels and medical transport before it was amalgamated to form part of the Cooloola Shire, and then Gympie Regional Council.
Council staff are now working with members of the Association to establish a seniors hub in the Kilkivan Hall for monthly get togethers to strengthen social connection.
The council says it will also be helping with some grants etcetera if required.
Private enterprise has been touted by more than one person as the most likely way to realised the goal, but the woman spearheading the campaign, Rosie Fitzgerald, fears allowing a commercial operation to build and run the facility would result in local elderly not being given top priotiy for places.
This would be "disastrous", she said.
Among the comments on the situation posted on social media was the creation of jobs such a facility would mean; nurses, occupational therapists, manager, groundsman, receptionist.
"All those jobs it would create. More people in small towns. More money spent in small towns. Better quality of life in your later years. If only it could be done," said Cassandra Nicol.
"Yes, I do believe one should stay close to fam and friends where you lived most of your life. Being lonely is a death sentence too," said Maria Wheeler.
But then Leslie Crombie said Kilkivan did not have the population to support such a facility.
Joan Smith wondered how it would be staffed.
"We can't get doctors to stay here in Tin Can Bay," she posted on Facebook under the story.
Ainsleigh O'Sullivan said:
"Not just those areas. My grandfather who was a ringer and a bushy from way back had to be put in a home in Maryborough after being on the land nearly 80 years. Had to give up his dog. Cattle. Say goodbye to the area he lived in and raised his kids in. He would have been one of the oldest left in the area. He wished there were homes for the elderly in a bush setting so it wasn't so stressful and such a big change to being stuck in a room in town. So yes. Government should get on to this. These sorts of facilities would fill quickly as a lot of people off the land don't want to end up stuck in town.
"Could see his heart and his spirit break when we told him he had to go into a home and have full-time care. I was worried he might give up on life if we made him go. But he's doing well. Getting use to it all. We try get him out when we can and take him to see our cattle and horses but just not the same."