16 Sep 2008

Kimberley closure worked out well for ex-residents - report

8:17 pm on 16 September 2008

Closing Levin's Kimberley Centre for the intellectually disabled has worked out well for most former residents, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Kimberley was the last of the country's big state-run institutions to close in favour of community care.

Kimberley, once known as the Levin Farm and Mental Deficiency Colony, had 300 residents at the time it was shut in 2006.

The report, by the Donald Beasley Institute, says most families opposed its closure, and some residents found it hard to adjust to life in the community. But being close to family significantly improved former residents' quality of life. Some regained the ability to speak, the institute says.

The Government says the report, which was funded by the Health Ministry and the Health Research Council, reinforces the school of thought that community care is better than institutional care.