10 March, 2021
Million-dollar aged care
A SMALL OUTBACK town have raised millions of dollars and built a new aged care facility.
Barcaldine Aged Care have recently completed another two residential units as well as a community function centre.
A total of six two-bedroom units exist on the property, with plans to develop more in the future.
Dreams of the aged care facility begun 14 years ago, when a small group of people got together to fundraise for the complex.
Chairman of Barcaldine Aged Care Garry Bettiens worked on fundraising and construction of the building and is extremely thankful to the communities for the help with the project.
“Everyone has given in some small way; we are so humbled to have received so much support from local businesses as well as the community.” he said.
Barcaldine Regional Council, Deputy CEO Brett Walsh, said the council are thrilled with the project and can see what a great asset it is to the community.
“The facility is employment for the future, it also keeps older people in town, they don’t have to go to nursing homes in other towns, we can keep people in the community.
“It has actually brought some people back, it is not only keeping existing residents, but it is bringing people back into town who lived away.”
Shirley Storey was the first resident to move into one of the homes and has lived there for nearly two years.
“The additions that have been made are beautiful, and to have such lovely units to live in, as well the new community function space is just incredible.” she said.
“Even though we live in a small and close community we still do not get to see a lot of the residents, so events in the space are fantastic way to catch up with everyone.”
Coordinator of community care services Carl O'Neill said they are currently supporting the direct care for 71 participants across the Central West and the Central Highlands.
“The new function space is an opportunity to host activities each week,” he said.
“We will have activities like music mornings, a lunch every fortnight, exercise activities, high teas, and a whole lot of different events to suit days of the year.”
The function space is open to any over 55s who are registered with My Age Care Services which is free to join and supported through government funding.
Jean Lennon, Robyn Harvey, Carolyn Marloney, Shirley Storey, Noela Wilson, Doug Church, Bev, Church, Ken Wilson, Dot Skinn, Carl O’Neill, Cheryl Venard, Brett Walsh, Jean Williams, Gerry Bettiens, Patrice Lawrence having morning tea inside the new function space. PHOTO: Kate Kiernan