A residential care home for older people that was facing imminent closure, St Joseph’s Home of Compassion in Upper Hutt, hopes to keep its doors open announced Chief Executive Chris Gallavin.

St Joseph’s has a rich history, and is beloved by its community, having provided care for older people in Upper Hutt for nearly 100 years. Like so many homes in the aged care sector, it has faced huge pressure over the last two years, with Covid restrictions adding to severe staffing shortages. Sisters of Compassion was facing having to close the home and try to relocate its residents away from the place they know and love.

Chris Gallavin, has announced a partnership with Heritage Lifecare that will see the home remain open. Heritage Lifecare’s Chief Executive Officer, Norah Barlow says, ‘Losing this home and the vital aged care services it provides would have been a huge loss to the community. So, we are working closely with Sisters of Compassion to find solutions to keep St Joseph’s operating.’

Heritage Lifecare has 42 care homes throughout New Zealand, with deep connections to the communities it is in, and on providing personal, caring support. ‘This strong local connection is something we have in common with St Joseph’s’, says Norah Barlow.

Heritage Lifecare fully recognises the staffing challenges facing the aged care sector and intends to use its scale and resources to work hard alongside Sisters of Compassion, with continued engagement of Te Whatu Ora, to keep the home open for its residents and staff.

‘Our skilled care home managers and regional managers support the wellbeing of all staff, so they in turn can support and care for our residents. That is always our prime concern – to keep our residents safe and secure in the place they call home.’

‘This is good news for the people of Upper Hutt, and for all the families and friends of the older people in St Joseph’s care’, says Chris Gallavin. ‘While there is a lot of work in front of us, the partnership provides the local community with a positive way forward.’