Caring for the elderly

St Catherine’s Hostel awaits green light on permit to boost facility to 100 beds
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EXCITED: St Catherine’s Hostel chief executive officer Adrian Johnstone discusses the planned expansion with architect Neil Trabant and St Catherine’s Hostel care manager Heila Brooks in May. PHOTO: Kylie Wilson

A NEW multi-million aged care facility upgrade in Wangaratta is looking to help solve a services demand “bottleneck” by the end of 2016.

Council will decide on a permit after this Friday for a 31 bed expansion to St Catherine’s Hostel that will boost occupancy to 100 rooms once developed.

If the green light is given, the hostel’s management will call upon architects to put a costing to the redevelopment and there are high hopes that building works will start by the end of this year.

The plans are to ease the waiting lists for aged care in Wangaratta, with people having to wait until at least April 2016 to get a room at St Catherine’s, alone.

St Catherine’s Hostel chief executive officer Adrian Johnstone said the people needing care are generally of a greater age than what they were five years ago.

He said Commonwealth service packages were rolled out several years ago which encouraged the care of people living in the comfort of their own homes.

But this has now created an even older population who have high care needs and aged care facilities are the only option.

“People have been cared for in their homes for 2-3 years longer, but this has created a bottleneck and people have been flooding in,” Mr Johnstone said.

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