Cooinda Turnaround: A Blueprint for Regional Aged Care Success

Cooinda |


Respect is pleased to announce its Cooinda aged care home, based in Lithgow, NSW, has recently been awarded full accreditation by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission – a historic milestone considering the speedy journey of positive development and change the home has undertaken in only a short, two-year period. 

Prior to joining our organisation, the home – located about 140km west of Sydney – went into voluntary administration in 2021 after losing its accreditation by failing to meet 38 of the 42 aged care quality standards. Much publicised at the time, feelings of uncertainty swept the Lithgow community, including the home’s 73 residents and 120 staff members, with some publicly voicing their concerns that residents could become ‘homeless’. 

But within weeks of the home being told it would not be re-accredited to operate, Respect took on management of the home. With a 100-year history of caring for the senior Australian community, our growing not-for-profit organisation embarked on a significant project of change and development in collaboration with Cooinda’s Board and staff, as well as the Lithgow community. 

“Just two years ago, Cooinda was in a very different situation to what it is today,” says Jason Binder, our Managing Director and CEO. “It had just failed all but four industry standards, was told it could no longer operate, and many in the Lithgow community were concerned residents would be homeless within weeks. 

“Now, it’s a far different story. We’re pleased to share the news that earlier this year the home officially met all 44 aged care standards and has been awarded full accreditation – a wonderful result that is testament to the high quality of care and community that Cooinda represents.” 

Mr Binder says that at the time of acquiring the home he was confident Respect’s systems and processes would allow Cooinda to become compliant very quickly. Alongside this focus, our organisation also committed to a major redevelopment of the home, which continues today and is set to increase Cooinda to 108 rooms as well as establish a specialist and secure dementia care wing. 

“As an organisation with a regional focus, we’ve been growing steadily throughout the past decade, and we’ve become known across the industry for our ability to turn around aged care homes and make them thrive while investing back into the home and the community,” Mr Binder says. 

“What I’m most proud of is how our team members have united to ensure Cooinda can once again become an amazing asset to the Lithgow community. We know our approach to turning around homes is effective and our planning and processes work, but at the heart of that focus are good, hardworking people. So I want to acknowledge everyone involved in this great result – from our dedicated and passionate staff members working on the ground to ensure residents’ needs always come first, to those on the home’s Board and across the broader community who have been such a great support. 

“That’s why this result is so positive and remarkable. It’s one that we at Respect are proud to share with everyone involved with Cooinda as well as the Lithgow community.” 

Mr Binder shares special praise for the leadership of Cooinda General Manager, Theresa Saint, and her impact on the home’s turnaround. 

“Theresa has been absolutely integral to the home’s journey of growth, and so much of this positive result is down to the culture she has helped create and drive amongst her team,” he says. “Together, the Cooinda team have built an environment that staff and residents are wholeheartedly proud of – a wonderful place to call home for the Lithgow community for generations to come.” 

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