$2.1m upgrade announced for Grafton aged care facility
FEDERAL Member for Page Kevin Hogan played the modest celebrity as he greeted some of Grafton's elderly in the courtyard of the Whiddon Group Aged Care Facility in Grafton.
Mr Hogan was received by beaming smiles and open arms from all the residents as he announced the funding of a $2.1 million upgrade project at the Whiddon Group facility yesterday.
The funding is intended to kick-start upgrades to the Whiddon Group facility on Crown St with the promise of 45 new beds to meet the growing demand of the Grafton population.
These upgrades come merely months after Mr Hogan announced an upgrade to Dougherty Villas worth $1.2 million.
"There is obviously a heavy demand for these as our population ages," Mr Hogan said.
"This is going to be a complete re-do of this building and increase 45 places and goes along with the announcement we made last year about an increase of places at Dougherty Villa.
"It's going to be a great new facility in the Clarence Valley for our elderly to move into.
"It's going to alleviate, if there are any, a lot of bottlenecks for people who want to move into retirement homes."
Along with an extra 45 beds in the nursing home, the upgrades project will provide around an extra 100 jobs ongoing including nurses, cleaners, caterers and maintenance positions.
"This is a great boost in jobs," Mr Hogan said.
"There is going to be a mini job boom out of these facilities being built and then when they are in operation as well."
Director of Care Services for the Whiddon Group Grafton, Mary Griffin, said she was excited the project was going ahead and felt that it was a great thing to happen, not only for the facility but also for the local community.
"This is wonderful news. It will be wonderful not only for us but for the whole community, with better services, better choices for old people to make and better facilities.
"People will have a room with their own ensuite which will make our services much better for them," she said.
"There is always a waiting list for aged care in Grafton, definitely, and I just think this will make that so much better. People will have a choice as to what sort of care they actually want."
On top of the Federal Government's funding, the Whiddon Group have offered a further $22 million to the upgrades work of the new aged care facility.