Member for Page Kevin Hogan unveils the plaque with Whiddon Group chairperson Len Kearns, and CEO Chris Marmarelis at the opening of the Whiddon Group Grafton expansion.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan unveils the plaque with Whiddon Group chairperson Len Kearns, and CEO Chris Marmarelis at the opening of the Whiddon Group Grafton expansion. Adam Hourigan Photography

Whiddon Aged care expansion opens

FEDERAL Member for Page Kevin Hogan today opened the second stage of the $25 million expansion of the Whiddon Group's Aged Care Facility in Grafton.

"This is great news for our community, particularly older members who want to stay in their community but need assistance, as well as those looking for work," he said.

"The number of Residential Age Care beds at the expanded facility has now more than doubled to 110 beds after the Federal Government announced an increase of annual funding of almost $3 million.

"The $25 million expansion has created about 60 additional permanent jobs, on top of the 60 jobs it created during the construction phase."

Stage One of the development opened last year. The second stage officially opened today and includes a 23 place secure dementia care wing.

"The new facilities will provide a safe sanctuary for people when they decide to move into residential care, and will further enhance the sense of community at Whiddon Grafton," Mr Hogan said.

"Residents are also encouraged to invite their family and friends into their home, too, just as they would in their previous homes, allowing them to live more fulfilling lives, while staying close to the people they know and love.

"Safe, quality care for dementia patients is highlighted in the Grafton home's creative ageing programs, activities that provide wellbeing benefits including the potential to improve physical capability and cognition.

"The group's multi-award winning HenPower Creative Ageing Program will be implemented and involve residents coming together as a community to care for hens.''

Whiddon chief executive Chris Mamarelis said Whiddon has been an integral part of the Grafton community for 33 years.

"We are delighted to continue this by bringing a new state-of-the-art residential aged care offering to the area," he said.

"It's part of our ongoing commitment to investing in regional areas in New South Wales so that older Australians can access quality Aged Care in the communities they know and love, keeping them connected to the people that enrich their lives.

"We thank the Grafton community for their ongoing support and are honoured to have many members of the community here to celebrate the opening today."

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