Three Tree Lodge Lithgow officially opened Melaleuca House, an eight bed extension to its existing service for people living with dementia on Wednesday, February 27.
As part of the opening, Three Tree dedicated two gardens within the centre to people and groups which have played a vital role in Three Tree.
'The Rydal Garden' was acknowledged due to the financial contribution from the Daffodils at Rydal Committee, which funded the garden and horticulture expertise of Barbara Moran.
'The Le Fevre Garden' was unveiled to acknowledged the ongoing contribution of Timothy Le Fevre, Secretary of the Board, who has served continuously since the establishment of the shared campus since 1998.
Calare MP Andrew Gee was asked to officially open the extension after helping to fund the project through the Commonwealth Department of Health, through an Aged Care Capital Grant.
Three Tree Lodge chief executive officer, Kate Hurrell welcomed guests to the opening, including Calare MP Andrew Gee, Bathurst MP Paul Toole, Lithgow City mayor Ray Thompson, deputy mayor Wayne McAndrew and Councillors Cass Coleman and Maree Statham.
"So many people here today were instrumental in both the vision and the beginning and the build and I want to thank every single one of you," Mrs Hurrell said.
Chairman of Three Tree Lodge Board, Garry Brown received high praise from Mrs Hurrell on his work with Three Tree.
"Without him this place would not operate," she said.
Mr Brown said he was proud to be there at this point in Three Tree Lodge's history as they have come a long way.
"I am very proud of what we have achieved in the time we have achieved it, we have done an excellent job over a reasonably short period of time," he said.
Mr Brown said this was an incredible achievement for a small organisation.
"We couldn't do all of this without the support we are given," he said.
Mr Brown thanked a number of people for their ongoing help with the project, from government officials to architects and volunteers.
"There is one person I must thank, our CEO, it's been a team effort and you have to have a captain to a team, she played a major role, learnt a lot, wouldn't be able to do it without her," he said.
MP Andrew Gee spoke about the challenge for country communities, in that if they did not supply great aged care facilities locally, ageing people were forced to move away.
"This represents a wonderful modern approach to aged care, particularly dementia care," he said.
Mr Gee spoke about his unfortunate first experience with an age care facility when his grandmother got dementia.
"The first ever facility I went into, the staff were wonderful, but I remember thinking it had an institutional feel about it, and I look back and compare that to the way the age care sector has developed," he said.
"This does represent the modern age of care, Kate and Garry have done their research and it shows."
"Melaleuca House is so important because it offers the best we can give these people who have made wonderful contributions to our community for decades and decades."Andrew Gee
Mr Gee thanked the staff working at Three Tree Lodge and the level of care they gave to Lithgow residents.
According to Three Tree Lodge, they are currently transitioning towards the Household Model of Care, a concept in which seniors live in small clusters.
The model involves households which include a fully functioning kitchen and laundry, lounge, TV, and quiet sitting rooms, dining area and outdoor spaces, with each resident equipped their own room and ensuite.
There are no long corridors, shared bedrooms or large institutional kitchens and residents have the opportunity to personalise their rooms and bathroom facilities.
Melaleuca House has been architecturally designed and has utilised the latest research in designing a residential home that is built for people living with dementia.
It was designed to encourage meaningful living, reducing loneliness, isolation and boredom.
Deputy Mayor Wayne McAndrew said that having an ageing population in our area meant it was extremely important to have these state-of-the-art facilities.
"The chairman of the board summed it up best of all when he said this is their house, their home, that's exactly right, it is a fantastic facility, and it's something that old Jim Robson fought for back in 1990," he said.
"We started this process of this integrated health facility, which of course includes the public hospital, the private hospital and of course the aged care component, so a one stop health and aged care shop. To see it grow I am extremely happy about as well."
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