SOUTH West Healthcare’s (SWH) Merindah Lodge aged care facility is about to undergo a major refurbishment thanks to a $360,000 State Government grant awarded this week.
Located at the Camperdown hospital, the facility’s dining area will be extended about six metres into the adjacent courtyard garden, giving the 36 residents a much greater living space.
The existing lounge and dining room will then be completely overhauled, including a new kitchenette with wheelchair access, new flooring, painting and furnishings.
SWH chief executive officer Craig Fraser said the refurbishment would provide residents and staff with much more room and more homey surrounds.
“We’re just about to appoint an architect to progress the project,” he said.
“We have rough plans and costings already completed, now it’s time to take the next step.
“The architect will work closely with our management team and feedback will be sought from the residents as we want the refurbishment to reflect their needs and wants as much as possible.”
SWH Camperdown manager Janine Dureau-Finn said the added space would allow for a dedicated activities area.
“It will also relieve a bit of congestion and make it easier for our residents to get around, particularly with their wheelie-walkers,” she said.
“It will be great for residents to be able to access the kitchenette themselves – this is their home, they should be able to make a cuppa and get a biscuit if they want to, without relying on the staff.
“That is very much in-line with our Montessori approach (where resident care is tailored to the individual and designed to better resemble in-home living) at Merindah Lodge.”
Ms Dureau-Finn said the upgrade would have added safety benefits and better allow residents to entertain visitors in a nicer environment.
Merindah Lodge manager Leanne Lucas said the residents took great pride in their environment.
“The upgrade is very much overdue,” she said.
“The comfort factor is so important and these improvements will result in the residents enjoying their home so much more.
“We really encourage the residents and their family and friends to have input on the final design and will have a board up where they can jot them down.”
The refurbishment does not signal an end to ongoing plans for a complete rebuild of the Camperdown hospital and aged care facility.
Mr Fraser said the rebuild plans would continue to develop in parallel to the Merindah Lodge refurbishment.
“The best case scenario for a hospital rebuild is that funding will still be some years away,” he said.
“The Merindah Lodge upgrade is an interim measure.
“In terms of the hospital rebuild, we have already completed a Master Plan and are now working through the feasibility process, so the rebuild is still very much a going concern.”