"We wait in hope."
That's the message from Lithgow Aged Care (LAC) Chair, Stephen Lesslie as the Board prepares its to submit their appeal for reaccreditation with just a couple of days left until the deadline.
Board Chair, Stephen Lesslie spoke with the Lithgow Mercury on Monday morning to discuss what is next once the appeal is submitted and why the facility has appeared for sale online.
The Board has 14 days from February 10 to submit their appeal, though Stephen pointed out the Board was notified of the Commission's decision at 8pm on February 11.
He said the feeling among residents and their families is one of anxiety. With some older residents feeling like decisions are being made without their input.
"The feedback we're getting from residents, unsurprisingly, is that they don't want to move," Stephen said.
"There's a lot of misinformation out there and some are not well informed. There's certainly no enthusiasm about all this - we've had no feedback from the Commission."
Stephen said he believes that once the appeal has been received by the Commission that they will get a response back promptly, which in the event of an unfavourable outcome would at least give residents time to prepare to move.
"The Board members have been working very hard, we're really trying to get this thing sorted and we're hoping desperately for a favourable outcome," Stephen said.
"We all believe that a decision that doesn't go our way will be - as the phrase that's used - devastating for our residents - no one is denying that or thinking that's not the case."
At a meeting with the Commission, they told residents that in the event of a move that there are 130 spaces available in a 50 kilometre radius of Lithgow Aged Care. Stephen said this elicited an audible laugh of derision from the people in the room at that claim.
"They [residents and families] didn't believe this at all. In any event it's false accounting," he said. "For every person from Lithgow that goes to a another facility, that's another space that's not available for someone in that community."
"People will have to wait in unsatisfactory home circumstances until spaces become available. In many cases people come into nursing homes from public hospitals, so if they go back they they end up using emergency beds in public hospitals."
A real estate listing has reappeared online in the last week for Lithgow Aged Care. Something Stephen said is premature and based on earlier decisions around trying to find a buyer.
"I think it's people just trying to get feedback on potential buyers, certainly it's not a position of the board," Stephen said.
"This is why I'm unhappy about the process. It shows there is an agenda from an organisation outside outside of our control that has their own motives.
"The problem with a sale is, if we're forced to close, we will be asset rich and income poor. We wouldn't able to maintain the building. Things like mowing lawns and fixing broken windows and that sort of thing.
"Quite quickly that would hit us with difficulty and you can't take loans if you haven't got repayment capacity. And the Commission knows this. That is the power of the reaccreditation and the law that states no aged care facility can have residents if it isn't accredited."
"You can't sell it if you're under sanctions and under constraint and no genuine buyer would be wanting buy it under these conditions.
"That's what concerns me, why is it being pushed that way if it's not a viable sale with accreditation constraints."