Helping Hand’s acquisition of Kindred Living done

Helping Hand has completed the acquisition of Kindred Living in Whyalla.

South Australian not-for-profit aged care provider Helping Hand has completed the acquisition of Kindred Living in Whyalla with celebrations across its new sites.

The deal includes Kindred Living’s two aged care homes, 11 retirement living units and homes care services. It also secures the employment of more than 200 local staff in Whyalla, a seaport on the east coast of the state’s Eyre Peninsula.

The Helping Hand board took responsibility for the services on 25 November, with transition plans for customers, the workforce, property, payroll, finance, information systems, governance and more already underway.

The handover celebrations included an afternoon and morning tea with residents at Copperhouse Court and Yeltana respectively and a lunch at the administration building. Residents were given a posy of flowers to welcome them to Helping Hand. There were also cupcakes, biscuits and gift bags (pictured below).

Kindred Living care clients and volunteers voiced their support for the acquisition including home care service recipients Doug and Marilyn, who said: “We’ve got no worries at all about the changes. We’ve heard wonderful things about Helping Hand.”

Max Kaberry, who has lived in one of the retirement units since 2011, called Helping Hand a lifesaver.

“Look at what happened with Annie Lockwood, that’s the direction we were heading in,” said Ms Kaberry in a statement. Kindred Living closed Annie Lockwood Court in Whyalla last year. That was due to being unable to find enough skilled staff to keep it open, according to the ABC.

Helping Hand has the capacity, energy, and the ability to make a go of it,” Mr Kaberry said. “Since the announcement there seems to be a sense of optimism. The vibes are good. The success of the venture will depend on the energy, optimism and faith of every resident and member of staff, from top to bottom. Success won’t come in the with the tide. We need to work together,” he said.

Copperhouse Court resident Dean (left) with lifestyle coordinator Robert Golding on handover day

The acquisition – which was announced just over three months ago – comes a year after Helping Hand entered into a management agreement with Kindred Living.

Kindred Living’s aged care services in Whyalla have been known under several different names since the Whyalla Senior Citizens Association delivered its first project – six apartments on Newton Street – and purchased Copperhouse Court Hostel in Hawdon Street for redevelopment into a residential hostel in 1971.

Over coming months, the local community will start to see branding changes to signage and uniforms. The clinical care systems have not changed.

The Helping Hand board and executive are excited about the full integration, said chief executive officer Chris Stewart.

“Aged care services in Whyalla had experienced some challenges. A lot of regional care providers have experienced challenges since the royal commission and the increased scrutiny on aged care providers, including an ever-increasing demand on compliance,” Mr Stewart said in a statement.

Chris Stewart

“The regions are also experiencing major workforce challenges. We wanted to step in. We see it as part of our broader mission to assist services like these. It was a huge task, but we had great community support and the results are speaking for themselves.”

Helping Hand has previously integrated with regional services in Port Pirie, Clare and Jamestown.

Main image: Helping Hand staff in uniforms

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Tags: chris-stewart, helping-hand, kindred-living,

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