Grant a boost for aged care

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Karen Hunt

AN $8 mil­lion Fed­eral Govern­ment grant will al­low the ex­pan­sion of Bridgetown’s aged care home to cater for the grow­ing de­mand from the area’s age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“It will be a colos­sal ben­e­fit to the town and re­gion,” Geegeelup Vil­lage Hos­tel chair­man and GP Mick Dew­ing said on Fri­day.

“It will cer­tainly cover the de­vel­op­ment of 16 new beds with a lot more fa­cil­i­ties than we’ve got now.”

Care for de­men­tia pa­tients and cou­ples would be avail­able once the ex­pan­sion to a to­tal of 32 beds was com­plete.

“The scope is enor­mous,” Dr Dew­ing said.

A cap­i­tal grant of $7.4 mil­lion would fund two new wings at Geegeelup, each with eight beds, in­clud­ing four for de­men­tia pa­tients, O’Con­nor MHR Rick Wil­son con­firmed.

Op­er­a­tional fund­ing to be al­lo­cated to the hos­tel for the 16 new places is es­ti­mated at $1.048 mil­lion, Mr Wil­son said.

The project aims to meet de­mand in an area with a higher than av­er­age pop­u­la­tion of se­niors and a wait­ing list for aged care.

“We’ve got el­derly res­i­dents in Bridgetown and Boyup Brook that have to move to Perth when they need to ac­cess these ser­vices,” Mr Wil­son said.

“Aside from forc­ing peo­ple to leave their com­mu­nity, this places a ma­jor strain on their fam­i­lies, who are forced to com­mute long dis­tances when they want to visit their loved ones.”

News of the fed­eral fund­ing comes af­ter what Dr Dew­ing in Novem­ber called a “gen­er­ous and timely” do­na­tion of $100,000 from Bridgetown Ro­tary Club.

The fed­eral fund­ing will be via the Aged Care Ap­provals Round and fol­lows an ear­lier un­suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion.

Dr Dew­ing pre­vi­ously voiced con­cerns that Geegeelup, the small­est aged care fa­cil­ity in WA, would not re­main vi­able un­less it was able to ex­pand.

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