News

UPDATE: New aged care centre approved for Silkstone

WilsonArchitects' vision for the Silkstone Aged Care Centre.
WilsonArchitects' vision for the Silkstone Aged Care Centre. WilsonArchitects

UPDATE: 

THE council has approved a high density aged care facility at Silkstone, but with conditions. 

Aspire Aged Care is behind the proposal and if the development goes ahead, fencing to block sound must be included.  

The council has also included a condition for the developer to incorporate a range of native plants instead of those listed in the original application. 

More permits for operational works must be secured before construction on the 132 unit development can start. 

During the consultation period only one submission was made on the proposed development - it wasn't considered by the council as it was deemed 'not properly made'. 

INITIAL STORY: 

A NEW high density aged care facility has been proposed for a vacant block among houses at Silkstone.

Aspire Aged Care, a new player in the local aged care industry, lodged its application with Ipswich City Council this month for a 132 unit development covering more than 11,000 sq m at Heather St.

If approved, the two-storey precinct with six buildings surrounding a central community centre, would employee 12 full time staff and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But it's places in high care nursing homes, not semi-independent facilities like the proposed Aspire Aged Care centre, that are in demand with those facilities consistently at capacity.

APPLICATION LODGED: This vacant block on Heather St is the proposed site for a new aged care facility.
APPLICATION LODGED: This vacant block on Heather St is the proposed site for a new aged care facility.

Less than 5% of Ipswich residents are older than 70 and the Silkstone aged care centre proposal comes a month after construction started on similar $1 billion project at nearby Springfield.

Within 20 years 2500 apartments will be built at the precinct as part of the country's largest fully-integrated, age friendly retirement village with the first 66 to be finished by mid-2017.

Is your family struggling to find a place in an aged care facility? Let us know, email helen.spelitis@qt.com.au.

While similar local facilities such as RSL Care, which has 58 retirement homes, are also at capacity Ipswich National Seniors Association branch secretary Erica Foote said older people were more inclined towards 'in home' care.

That's a service she says needs expanding, with the need matched only by demand for more places in nursing homes.

Erica Foote. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times
Erica Foote. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times Claudia Baxter

"With nursing homes, it's a case of someone has to die before someone new can move in," Ms Foote said.

"I know people who have been waiting two years for a place, but I don't know of anyone looking to move into a retirement village type situation."

Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy CEO Geoff Rowe agrees saying the number of places in facilities offering high need care falls significantly short of the demand.

However he says across the state people looking for affordable, accessible aged care are increasingly opting for community living arrangements.

Does Ipswich need more aged care services?

This poll ended on 20 June 2016.

Yes, any aged care facility will help - 0%

Yes, but more nursing homes rather than retirement living - 100%

No, older people should live with their families - 0%

Yes, but we need more nurses for home visits - 0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"Often it's about money with people selling the family home and moving into something low maintenance, more affordable to be able to continue living independently," Mr Rowe said. 

In Ipswich two nursing homes are already expanding.

Catholic Healthcare Villa Maria is preparing to start construction on its new building at Eastern Heights which will add 60 beds to the existing 40 at Limestone St.

Bundaleer Lodge at North Ipswich, is also in the middle of an expansion to add another 48 beds to ease the demand for its services.

However Mr Rowe said as the 'baby boomer' generation begin moving through the aged care system demand is likely to continue outstripping supply. 

Topics:  aged care health nursing homes retirement



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