IRT Diment Towers Aged Care Centre winds down
After careful consideration IRT has made the decision to gradually close the aged care centre at IRT Diment Towers located on Staff St Wollongong.
A regular property review of the 52 year old building found the size and layout is no longer fit for purpose as an aged care centre, noting that the building does not provide an environment that supports older adults who need higher levels of care.
IRT CEO Patrick Reid says the closure of the aged care centre will occur over time, and there is no immediate need for residents or employees to leave.
“It’s a priority to provide the best possible living environment for our aged care residents and after carefully considering our options, we have made the decision to wind down the aged care centre at IRT Diment Towers,” Mr Reid said.
“Customer expectations have significantly shifted since the building was first opened. As you can imagine with a property this old, it is just not designed in a way that will meet these changing expectations. Vacancies in the care centre have also continued to rise, indicating a declining demand for the care and services available there.”
IRT is meeting with residents and their representatives and employees individually to understand their personal needs and preferences to determine suitable relocations and the best way to proceed with the transition.
“We understand that a change at this stage in our residents’ lives can cause some anxiety and it is for this reason that we do not wish to rush our residents to make a decision,” Mr Reid said.
The co-located retirement village at Diment Towers will continue to operate as normal and there is no need for any resident in the retirement village to relocate.
Diment Towers is IRT’s first aged care centre and retirement village and is named after the not-for-profit organisation’s founder and first Chairman, Dr Max Diment. There is no intention to demolish it or sell it to anyone including another aged care provider.
“We want the Diment Towers building to continue to serve the Illawarra community – as we imagine Dr Diment would have also wanted.” Mr Reid said.
Work has begun on assessing potential options for the future use of the aged care centre, including preliminary conversations with Wollongong City Council to determine what is permissible for its use. Options being examined include private rental accommodation and staff accommodation.
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About IRT Group:
IRT Group is one of Australia’s largest community-owned, not-for-profit providers of retirement living, residential aged care and home care. With more than 50 years’ experience and locations throughout NSW, the ACT and South East Queensland, we employ almost 2200 people and play a significant role in promoting seniors as dynamic, influential and valuable members of society.