Trepidation as residents brace for Shorty closure
Wednesday, 8th January, 2014
By Erica Visser
Eighty-five year old Jean Young has lived in Broken Hill for her entire life.
Mrs Young recalled the highs, including raising her four daughters and one son with her late husband.
Her daughter Helen was even born in Mrs Young’s childhood home, after a dose of castor oil mixed with orange juice brought on an unexpectedly speedy labour.
But Thursday December 19 marked a notable low for Mrs Young, who at 85-years-old still goes shopping on Fridays, plays bingo on Tuesdays and visits the doctor for a check-up four times a year.
It was announced that she would be displaced from her home, a unit within Shorty O’Neil Village, by March 2016.
“I just thought, ‘What a nice thing to land us on Christmas time!’,” Mrs Young said.
“I thought I would be staying here, right up until I might have to go to a nursing home.
“Now it’s hard to know what to think ... but anything can happen in two years.”
Mrs Young said that she wanted to stay in Broken Hill for the rest of her days, but was now unsure how that would happen.
Three of her daughters live in Adelaide, one lives in Whyalla and her son is in Western Australia.
“They are all over the place! I never much wanted to live in Adelaide, it’s too busy,” Mrs Young said.
“I have no idea at all where I’ll end up at the moment. I’ve got no family here apart from my brother, but he’s only two years younger than me and he’s not well himself.
“I’ve lived here all my life so I don’t want to leave.”
Mrs Young has had two hip operations and uses a walker to get around, but mentally she is as bright as ever.
She said that there was confusion among residents regarding Council’s decision, despite a briefing that occurred on the Thursday before Christmas.
“I didn’t go to that meeting because it was too hot to walk down to the hall that day,” she said.
“It’s a bit cooler now so it’s easier to get out and about.”
Mrs Young said that three residents had been moved from the village to local nursing homes this fortnight.
“It’s more than usual- I’m not sure if they are trying to clear people out who want to go,” she said.
“It’s more than usual; there’s never three at once.”
Council has said it would advise anyone wishing to move into the village of its plan.
Council decided to shut the village following over two years of debate, a lengthy report and a lack of interest from private providers to take over management.