Residents of Mountain View Retirement Home at Maungatapere have received the shock announcement they have to move, as the facility will close next week.
They were notified of the owner's intention to close Mountain View on April 26, giving nine permanent fees-subsidised residents less than two weeks to find new accommodation, before May 9.
The owner, Jianshe Yan, said in a letter to clients and other stakeholders dated last Wednesday that the closure was inevitable for commercial and safety reasons. An audit in February found the home to be "high risk level", he said.
Mr Yan said his company YAN JS Ltd had opted for closure because of its responsibility for residents' wellbeing.
At the company's and senior Mountain View staff's request, Northland District Health Board has put a temporary manager in place until the home closes and to help transfer residents to other facilities. Despite some families' fears that other rest homes in the district are already full to capacity, Neil Beney, DHB general manager for older people's health and services, said the transition to other rest home level care was "going smoothly".
Northland DHB and YAN JS Ltd agreed the best assistance that could be provided would be for the DHB to place an experienced temporary manager to oversee and support the transfer of residents and the smooth running of the rest home services until the closure occurs, Mr Beney said.
"This is normal practice during such situations," he said.
Some of the affected residents were being moved out of town. For example, one person is going to a Dargaville rest home. The daughter of one longtime Mountain View resident said her mother is "extremely upset" at the move. "It's going to be a great upheaval and very distressing for residents who consider it their home," the woman said. "Staff have been very upset, too, at the sudden news."
She said Mountain View had been recognised for feeling like a family home, with its rural village atmosphere, lovely gardens, and residents were even able to have pets living with them.
Northland DHB was responsible for funding nine residential care subsidies for eligible Mountain View residents. The facility has 20 rooms, some of which were used for respite care, but it is understood not all rooms have been occupied.