19 Feb 2019

Christchurch rest home residents under threat of eviction

From Checkpoint, 5:25 pm on 19 February 2019

A decision that could see some long-term residents of a Christchurch retirement home turfed out is being described as "bloody disgusting".

Residents of the rest home at Merivale Retirement Village have been told that there aren't enough beds for all of them in a new home that's being built, and some are going to have to move out.

Checkpoint's South Island video journalist Logan Church went to the rest home to meet with some of the affected residents.

Checkpoint spoke to some residents outside the village who say they are extremely disappointed about what's happened and are scrambling to find other accommodation.

One resident who has lived in the rest home for a decade, Jim McCarron said last Friday he and the other residents were handed a letter notifying them about the shortage of beds in the new facility.

"They came around approximately 10.30[am] on Friday and handed each person a personal letter. In that letter it said that because the new facility doesn't cater for enough beds there's 102 people for 47 beds. I feel badly let down," he said.

"They had to go through a process of having interviews with people to decide who was going and who wasn't."

Mr McCarron said there probably could have been a better approach taken by the rest home in talking with residents about the problem.

"I think the obvious thing would have been for the complete board to have held a meeting where they told us the problems and the possibilities, but that wasn't forthcoming.

"I think they've hid behind a lot of things like when their spokesman came out and said not enough people passed away, they built for what they considered was a death rate that there would be, and there wasn't. 

"They're now in a pickle along with all of us. I think for a professional organisation that's bloody disgusting."

The 76-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, has until April the first - six weeks - to find other accommodation.

He said he initially thought it was an early April fools joke.

"My wife is handling for it for me and it's put a hell of a lot of stress on her, to try and find somewhere and also deal with ACC who are my funders. We are going to wait to hear from them before we can make decisions about anything else."

According to Mr McCarron, securing one of the new rooms would cost him $150,000 which he simply can't afford.

Another resident, Ken, who also uses a wheelchair, said he had already made arrangements to move to another place next week.

"When I read it I was shocked."

Checkpoint has approached the rest home's management multiple times today to find out what is going on.

Village director Simon Marks is yet respond.