Lithgow Aged Care Facility held a 'turning of the sod' ceremony to mark the beginning of stage one of their development on Wednesday, February 28.
Chair of the Board, Olwyn King said that stage one is 36 beds plus a plant room which is capable of servicing the whole complex when it is finished.
"The plant room has to be included in this because stage one needs it and it will eventually flow onto stage two and three," Olwyn King said.
The building will be a two story accommodation with undercover secure parking and the projected completion is in February 2020.
"We will then move onto stage two which is a further 72 beds and a back of house building," she said.
The back of house building will provide the commercial kitchens, laundry, staff facilities and function rooms.
In 2017 Lithgow Aged Care was the recipient of 73 licences for beds in their facilities but stage one will only activate a portion of that amount.
"We can't activate all of that unless we get stage two done, but when we eventually finish the construction, we will have 168 beds, we currently have 95," she said.
According to Ms King, 24 of those beds will be dementia specific.
Ms Olwyn said part of the leverage they have is that they have 73 bed licences but can only activate about 30 of them with the new building.
"So if those licences are to be activated we have to proceed to stage two because we can't put them in a tent, we have to activate them by having these new buildings," she said.
Resident of Lithgow Aged Care for 18 years Norma Berriman said that living at Cooinda has been wonderful and like a home away from home.
"It is wonderful they are doing this extra building, because they have worked really hard to get this phase going.
Having worked as a nurse, Ms Berriman said to get treated with the same respect she gave as a nurse was a wonderful feeling.
"You get really well cared for and the staff are very polite," she said.
Jack Ranger the President of the Residents Committee said that when the building is finished it will be just what the residents need.
Calare MP Andrew Gee said that without a vibrant age care sector you don't have vibrant country communities and its that simple.
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