RSL Care?s Karen Dennien with Darlington Retirement Village resident Bill James. A new aged-care centre will soon open next to
RSL Care?s Karen Dennien with Darlington Retirement Village resident Bill James. A new aged-care centre will soon open next to

RSL aged-care facility to house 90 residents

By ED SOUTHORN

THE Tweed's booming aged-care sector is about to take another big step forward, with completion of the multi-million dollar RSL Care Darlington Retirement Community in Banora Point.

The 90-bed facility offering low and high-level care, special care and short-term respite accommodation is almost completed after 18 months under construction and is on target to take its first residents by the end of April.

The huge complex, including a heated pool and spa, billiards room, library and auditorium, continues the trend of new aged-care facilities built to the same high standards of a modern hospital or luxury resort.

The Leisure Drive site for the new facility is next to RSL Care's Darlington Retirement Village, opened last August, and was acquired before RSL Care purchased the nearby Winders Retirement Village.

RSL Care holds a large parcel of vacant land next to the new facility - paid for with RSL funds and federal government allocations - which will also be developed for a retirement village.

RSL Care area manager Karen Dennien told the Daily News: "This latest project demonstrates our very significant commitment to an integrated community vision for the Tweed."

She said co-locating retirement villages next to an aged-care facility reflected the desire of most senior citizens for minimum fuss as they moved into care.

"It means couples can stay close, even if one of them needs care and one can live independently," Ms Dennien said.

RSL Care's latest facility follows construction of the 115-bed Heritage Lodge in Murwillumbah, and the $10 million Ocean View "assisted living" complex opened in 2004 on the Sexton Hill site of the old Banora Point Motor Inn, both funded by private companies also with some government assistance.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot welcomed the RSL Care Darlington Retirement Community but noted that the Tweed needs 381 more aged-care beds based on the federal government's bed-funding formula of 88 residential beds per 1000 people aged over 70.

"It is always great to see new aged-care facilities," Ms Elliot said.

"We have one of the fastest ageing populations in Australia. Our area is very attractive to retirees who are moving here."

Ms Dennien said some places were still available at the Darlington Retirement Community. Anyone interested, phone (07) 5523 8999.



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