The last of the 41 residents at Nazareth Rest Home has left the building.

The closure of the home, owned by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, was announced last month and residents were assured they could stay at Nazareth until they had a new home to go to.

Tineke Stokes, chief executive of Mary McKillop Care Ltd which was contracted to manage the facility said there were enough rest home beds in Whanganui to take all 41.

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Generally speaking they could choose where to go and some had three or four choices but Stokes couldn't say whether everyone got to go to the home of their choice because
Some of the district's rest homes were already full, and had waiting lists.

"All residents transferring from Nazareth and their families/welfare guardians have been supported by Access Ability to make their own decisions," Whanganui District Health Board health of older people manager Andrea Bunn said.

"No one has been rushed out the door and it's been a great process, absolutely seamless."

Last week she was helping move leftover packaged food and toiletries out of the kitchen, for the sisters to distribute to needy Whanganui families.

Bunn doesn't know what will happen to the facility when it is empty and is not involved in that decision.

"The sisters are considering all their options at present."

Many of the rest home's 61 full and part-time staff have found new jobs, nurse manager Helen Ivory said, and some have taken retirement.

She's been kept busy providing reference checks for staff applying for jobs elsewhere.


Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (NZ) Trust Board chairwoman Sister Ann Neven told the Chronicle the home was closed because it was running at a loss.