EXCITING TIMES AHEAD: Senior Caroona Aged Care staff Simone Smith (left), Natalie Carterand and Julia Bellamy discuss the extensions of the Yamba facility in the newly-completed foyer.
EXCITING TIMES AHEAD: Senior Caroona Aged Care staff Simone Smith (left), Natalie Carterand and Julia Bellamy discuss the extensions of the Yamba facility in the newly-completed foyer. Grafton Daily Examiner/Adam Hourigan

Aged care boost

YAMBA is set for a raft of economic and social benefits following the expansion of a local aged care facility.

Caroona Yamba, part of Uniting Care Ageing, is about to open extensions to its existing facility. That means more jobs for the Clarence Valley.

It will also mean that for the first time in Yamba, an aged care facility will be able to provide high-level care to its residents.

The extensions took just under 12 months to complete at a cost of about $5.6 million.

Yesterday, Caroona management held an information seminar and tour of the new facility to show it off to local allied health practitioners.

Uniting Care Ageing regional director Julia Bellamy said the expansion meant bed numbers would rise from 55 to 85.

She said the facility had previously only catered for 55 low-care beds but would now include 30 high-care beds.

Ms Bellamy said that until now the closest high-care facility had been located at Maclean.

The expanded Caroona facility will now also include a 15 bed dementia-specific wing.

“There's been a fair bit of excitement around the extensions so we've invited key people in the area to come and see our facilities,” Ms Bellamy said.

The other exciting thing to accompany Caroona's expansion is the huge increase in staff numbers it will bring.

Currently, staff numbers at Caroona number about 50. However, the extensions mean that another 20 to 30 staff will need to be employed there.

Caroona also holds a number of service agreements with local providers, meaning a flow-on of economic benefits for business.

It is considered good news at a time of rising unemployment and talk of economic gloom.



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