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Respect Aged Care commits to the future of residents at Lithgow Aged Care

Respect Aged Care commits to the future of residents at Lithgow Aged Care

13 April 21

A binding agreement was signed on the 12th April to transfer the ownership of Lithgow Aged Care, in New South Wales, to Respect. It is anticipated that the sale of business and assets will be completed on the 16th April 2021, at which stage Respect would take over operation of the facility and secure the long-term future of Lithgow Aged Care, allowing it to reassess current processes, grow and thrive under new management.

Speaking on behalf of the LAC Board, Olwyn King, said that the Board is very pleased with today’s announcement.

“The transfer to Respect would finalise an association with Respect that started in 2019. Respect and LAC care about our community and believe that good aged care services are critical. We share a similar history, values and a genuine care about the service we provide. As a small provider, LAC has faced many challenges. Respect understands these challenges and by taking ownership and responsibility, they would be able to use their expertise to maintain and improve our service. We are honoured that Respect has chosen LAC and we all look forward to a bright future of residential aged care in Lithgow.”

Respect Managing Director, Jason Binder, said whilst there were significant challenges ahead in relation to the current sanctions, he was confident the staff were there for the residents, and that Respect’s systems and processes would allow the site to become compliant very quickly.

“When I visited the site, I talked to many residents who said they loved the place and didn’t want to move. That’s always a good sign and usually indicates that the staff are well intentioned and often providing good care. It will be challenging for staff to adapt to new systems and processes, but I’m confident in them and we’ll do it as a team. Having good staff is always a great place to start. It’s the most important thing in providing a safe and supportive home for our residents. We’re particularly excited for the residents who now don’t have to move to another home. It would be horrible to believe you were in your last home with everyone and everything familiar, only to be told you need to shift somewhere else, to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. I’m delighted that Respect can ensure their home will remain their home for as far as the eye can see.”

Mr Binder, said it would be a seamless transition for existing residents at Lithgow, with a strong commitment by all staff to ensure consistent quality care. “Our objective, from a staffing point of view, is for as little disruption as possible. Our aim is to ensure the individual needs of both residents and staff are carefully looked after with their ongoing well-being our main priority. We will provide the necessary assistance to help staff and residents with this transition.”

Mr Binder also said the development of the site would continue.

“Once we get the home compliant, which is something we can do quickly, we will continue the development of the site up to 108 rooms plus a specialist secure dementia area of 30 rooms. There has been a series of negative events, but we can see huge amounts of potential and we know we’ll turn the home into an amazing asset for the Lithgow community, and something everyone can be proud of. Its future is not only absolutely secure, it’s going to become a best in class aged care home. The administrators from EY have been working around the clock with all parties to ensure the best outcome for the home and I would like to thank them for their tremendous efforts in keeping the home open for the Lithgow community.”

Cooinda (an aboriginal word meaning “happy place”) opened its doors in 1968 as a 25 bed hostel called Cooinda Aged People’s Homes. In 1988, Cooinda donated land for construction of an additional care facility called Tanderra. Tanderra was officially opened in March 1991 and the 40 bed facility was soon at capacity. Eight beds were added in 2001 bringing the total to 48 care beds. Cooinda underwent a major re-fit in 2004 adding ensuites to all rooms and two new wings of 12 beds each. In June 2013 the two facilities, Cooinda & Tanderra, were officially merged to become what is now Lithgow Aged Care Ltd. On Wednesday 27th February 2019, works began to start Stage 1 of a $10.4 million development with the new lodge to accommodate 36 new ensuite rooms with state of the art facilities.

The addition of Cooinda continues Respect Aged Care’s expansion into New South Wales, and brings the organisations total number of homes to 13 with more than 1,300 residents and 1,500 employees spanning 3 states.