'It's just like a real home': praise for new Ralston Drive group home

NEW DIGS: Janet Chrystall is pleased with the large space available for her daughter Karen at the Ralston Drive group home. Photos: JUDE KEOGH 

NEW DIGS: Janet Chrystall is pleased with the large space available for her daughter Karen at the Ralston Drive group home. Photos: JUDE KEOGH 

JANET Chrystall had misgivings about her daughter Karen moving from Riverside at Bloomfield to a group home built in Ralston Drive in Orange.

That was until she saw it. 

With modern facilities, private bedrooms and a kitchen, she could not believe the luxury her daughter would be living in. 

“It’s the space mostly,” she said. 

“I was hoping there would be enough space and look at the view, they’ve got a beautiful view.”

Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka toured the two new group homes worth $2.2 million ahead of the first 10 clients to move in. 

Mrs Chrystall said she still had reservations about the staffing levels and felt she had been kept in the dark about who would be coming over to the new site to care for her daughter.

“Some of the staff have been there for all those years ... she’s been there for 38 years now,” she said.

Australian Disability and Home Care providers executive director John Ryan said eventually all clients would be moved from Riverside and re-homed in the 10 community group homes to be competed. 

No staff members or clients would remain and clients in the group homes would receive round-the-clock care he said. 

“It’s a real kitchen where they can cook real food ... It’s just like a real home,” he said. 

Ten houses will be built in Orange and Bathurst, with three already completed, allowing for five residents in each. 

Member for Orange Andrew Gee said the facilities gave people with a disability some independence. 

“These properties offer more flexibility in daily living and greater opportunity for residents to participate in their local community.”

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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