Charlestown based, St Anne’s Nursing Home is to close after 40 years.
The 26-bed facility is the 24th care home to close nationally in the last 18 months, according to today’s Irish Times.
Many voluntary and privately run nursing home facilities are said to be struggling to cope with funding shortfalls, high inflation as well as the cost of adhering to strict regulations.
Director of Nursing at St Anne’s Karen Dewsall told the paper that staff and residents in the nursing home were told this week that the facility will be closing and she says residents, family members of residents, and staff were all in tears on hearing the news.
Karen says Fair Deal, the scheme under which the state funds beds in private and voluntary run facilities, in exchange for a portion of residents’ income or assets, is “not fit for purpose”.
If funding and other issues are not addressed, she explained, smaller nursing homes in rural areas are “just going to disappear”.
The residents in the home are now facing the huge upheaval of having to move to another nursing home.
St Anne’s was opened in 1983 by Kathleen and the late Vincent Smyth.
Kathleen, who is now in her eighties is the registered provider of the home, and is said to be devastated about the closure.
Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland , which represents private and voluntary providers of nursing home facilities says the Fair Deal funding system is the root cause of many recent nursing home closures. “To say it hasn’t kept pace with inflation is an understatement”, he stated.
“The future viability of the sector is under threat, as a result.”