BIG things are happening at Carinya in Korumburra, with a $5.5 million expansion planned for the residential aged care facility, plus the construction of 10 more self-contained units and a brand-new community centre to be enjoyed by residents and the wider Korumburra population.
Twenty new private rooms will be added to Carinya’s aged care facility, the ‘Lodge’, bringing the total number of beds up to 60, and creating 15 new jobs in personal care.
Also included in the lodge development plans is a new front entrance, kitchen, laundry, communal living and dining areas, nurses space, maintenance area, administration area, carparking, state of the art security and fire detection, and dementia friendly gardens.
Construction at the lodge is expected to start in July this year and to be complete by December 2019.
Five new independent living units will be built on Farrell Drive in the coming weeks, and will be available for purchase on a loan lease arrangement by the end of the year.
A further five units will be built on Farrell Drive in 2019, with space for another 30 units in the future.
The community centre, which will be located near the Farrell Drive units and incorporate a kitchen, small bar, common area with tables, chairs, lounges, an entertainment/performance space, a games area, toilets, small library and meetings rooms, is in the early planning stages, with architects currently working on the first concept drawings.
Carinya’s CEO Cindy Nicholas said the management team had to do something to ensure Carinya remained competitive in a market increasingly dominated by large for-profit aged care providers.
“It was either do something, or sell to a big company,” Ms Nicholas said last week.
“A lot of big companies are moving into the outer suburbs of Melbourne and we thought by doing this development, we’d have the Korumburra area covered and we could keep aged care in this area locally run.
“That’s really important to us. Our board are all members of the local community who’ve poured their hearts and souls into the place and done so much work to keep it moving forward.”
Ms Nicholas also acknowledged the need to cater to increasing demand for aged care services in Korumburra as the town’s population grows.
“We’ve got a long waiting list at the moment, and we don’t want to have to turn anyone away,” she said.
The management team say there’s simply no comparison between care facilities run by local people for local people and those run by large corporations.
“We know we can do it better. We’re a community run, not for profit, and our main focus is resident care; not KPIs. We have better staffing ratios, local employment, and we provide 24-hour care,” Ms Nicholas said.
Retirement units manager Colin Bellchambers said Carinya’s community spirit was something that could only be achieved through a great connection to local people, including the volunteers on the committee of management, who have been instrumental in driving the upcoming development.
“We have a great group of local volunteers on the committee who are really committed to the continued development of Carinya.
“It’s the community looking after the community,” Mr Bellchambers said. “It’s nice to keep friendly, familiar faces around, and to know that the profits go back into the facility and support local jobs.”
The development will be the biggest Carinya has seen since a wing was added in 2006.
The board has applied for a $2.5 million government grant to assist in funding the project, and will find out in the next couple of months whether that application was successful.
But Ms Nicholas says the development will go ahead regardless.
“The grant would be a huge help but we’ve already gone to tender. It’s full steam ahead,” she said.
Carinya is also hoping to raise $1 million for the project through fundraising, and would like to hear from any local people interested in joining a fundraising committee.
Local families, businesses or other groups or individuals can also support the development by having one of the Lodge’s new rooms named after them for a tax-deductible donation.
Keep an eye out for a new Carinya Facebook page, coming soon, where you’ll find all the updates and details of fundraising events.
ABOVE RIGHT: A visit to Carinya in Korumburra any day of the week will see residents enjoying a range of activities as part of the Lifestyle Program, including exercise sessions with Sam the physio. kg102218