Photo Caption L-R: Gilgandra Shire Council Acting Mayor Ash Walker, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, Acting Aged Care Manager Narelle Rodway, Cr Greg Peart, and Director Community Services Jo Manion, pictured in one of the revamped kitchens at Gilgandra’s Cooee Lodge.
The standard of care at Gilgandra’s Cooee Lodge Hostel has reached a new high, with today’s official unveiling of its upgraded kitchen facilities made possible with $488,750 in Commonwealth funding.
Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton said he was thrilled to see the great difference the new and improved facilities are making to residents and staff.
“Cooee Lodge Hostel is an important facility for the Gilgandra community, providing round-the-clock personal care, meals and laundry services to around 50 residents, so it’s crucial we ensure its facilities are of an impeccable standard,” Mr Coulton said.
“I’m so glad the Federal Government awarded $488,750 to Cooee Lodge Hostel under the Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grants scheme, which I announced in January last year.
“Now, we are seeing the impressive new facilities already being used, including the main hostel kitchen and the special care servery kitchen, helping to ensure residents are getting the very best meals and care.
“This is a meaningful project with long-lasting benefits, and I’m very proud to be here today to see works complete.”
Works included the removal of existing facilities, kitchen equipment, cool room and dry store, and the installation of new kitchen benches, cooking equipment, cool and freezer rooms to bring the kitchens up to current standards.
Gilgandra Shire Council Acting Mayor Ash Walker said the works have made an enormous difference to the hostel facilities.
“We are thankful to the Australian Government for the grant which has seen this project come to life and make a real difference for our residents in both the Cooee Lodge Hostel and Special Care wing,” Cr Walker said.
“We pride ourselves on the care offered to residents at this facility and meeting aged care standards, and this project has really enhanced our offering.
“With reliable food storage, efficient preparation appliances and greater bench space we can now offer a wider choice of meals with more nutritional benefits to our residents, all of which are being prepared in a clean, safe and modern space.
“The improved facilities provide the opportunity to cater for community events when the occasion allows, including our Christmas events which will be held outside on the hostel forecourt and potentially grow the number of meal services provided locally.
“Having these aged care options in Gilgandra allows people to be cared for in our local community.”
Narelle Rodway, Acting Manager Aged Care, said staff have begun using the new facilities, with residents reaping the rewards.
“We can really see the benefits of our new kitchen areas. With improved functionality, we have greater efficiencies between the two areas and our operations are running smoother and more effectively for mealtimes and preparation,” Ms Rodway said.
Cooee Lodge employs 42 staff and involves local volunteers each week to assist with activities and social support for residents.