Gym, art studio and cinema included in $12 million aged care refurbishment

NEW DIRECTION: Member for Calare Andrew Gee met registered nurse Carol Rawlings and volunteer Roger Karrasch in the work shed at Ascott Gardens.
NEW DIRECTION: Member for Calare Andrew Gee met registered nurse Carol Rawlings and volunteer Roger Karrasch in the work shed at Ascott Gardens.

The future of residential aged-care was shown in Orange on Friday when Ascott Gardens opened its doors to celebrate the completion of its self-funded $12 million refurbishment.

The aged-care facility is run by UPA and state board president Louise Buxton said the construction took two and a half years following several years of planning.

“In 2015 we were granted 16 additional residential care places and in 2017 we were approved eight short term restorative care places,” Mrs Buxton said.

“Ascott Garden has increased in bed numbers from 62 rooms to 78. 

“All rooms as well as the common areas have been refurbished to consist of a new entry with fire place, library, shop and a hair salon. 

“Each cottage’s satellite kitchen and breakfast/sitting room have been refurbished.”

The opening including the refurbished Ascott Gardens, the Poppy and Cedar dementia cottages, Short Term Restorative Care Suite and the Synergy Active Ageing Centre.

The active ageing centre includes a gym, art studio, cinema, therapy room, shed, café, dining room, music room, library and computer lab, day centre as well as home care offices.

Mrs Buxton said the refurbished centre represents a new approach to caring for older people with wellness, re-ablement and restorative approaches emerging as powerful ways to help older people improve their function, independence and quality of life.

“Their needs and rights, including the right to engage in risk based activity will drive our approach,” she said.

“UPA’s focus has shifted to individual strengths, what folk can do, not what they can’t.

The two new dementia support cottages have 14 residents in each wing and have an outdoor area that includes chooks, a laundry and clothes lines, vegetable gardens, barbecue areas, a tool shed and a potting shed.

The Short-Term Restorative Care program is a new early intervention program that aims to reverse or reduce functional decline in older people and improve their wellbeing with up to eight weeks of help.

Among the participants is a 92-year-old woman who has volunteered all her life but found herself wheelchair bound after a fall.

She has since got out of the wheelchair, got her driver’s licence back and returned to volunteering.

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