$8.6 million for aged care facility
CONSTRUCTION of a new wing at the Banora Point Bupa aged-care facility will create an extra 41 beds for dementia sufferers and 33 more jobs for the region.
Centre manager Jo Spirit-Jones said that on completion of the wing the centre will become the "flagship operation" of the Bupa Care Services’ Australian arm.
Construction of the $8.6 million wing, which began in January, is set for completion in October.
The number of dementia-specific places at the facility will increase from 56 to 97, and the full-time workforce will grow from 40 to 73.
Ms Spirit-Jones said designers looked at all aspects of the environment, from lighting to spacious but secure gardens and "memory boxes" on doors, so residents know which room is theirs.
"They have put a lot of thought into the design of this new wing; it is so important for dementia sufferers to have the right environment," Ms Spirit-Jones said.
Bupa Banora Point has workers in training for when the new wing is expected to start accepting residents in December.
"We have already started a training program here for assistants in nursing and we will be doing a% couple more inductions before it opens up," Ms Spirit-Jones said.
Minister for Ageing, Richmond MP Justine Elliot made an official visit to the site on Thursday.
"This is an exciting project. It will provide more local jobs and additional aged-care beds," Mrs Elliot said.
"Australians now have the longest life expectancy in the English-speaking world. This is about preparing for our nation’s ageing population.
"We want to ensure that we have the aged-care places ready when people want to leave their homes and enter aged care.
"It is reassuring to see organisations like Bupa continuing to invest and support construction in aged care during the current global% financial recession," she said.
There are currently 35 construction workers on site, most of whom are locals.
Bupa is an international health and care organisation which began in London in 1947. Bupa’s aged-care arm, Bupa Care Services, entered the Australian market in December 2007. It also operates aged-care homes in the United Kingdom, Spain and New Zealand.
Bupa Care Services is the second-largest private aged-care provider in Australia, with 47 facilities across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT.