Care facility rebuild set to aid elderly

REDEVELOPMENT works at Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged will go a long way in caring for the needs of the elderly. 

Stage one of the redevelopment of the facility was officially opened in 2010 and included 60 new contemporary bedrooms. 

Another 60 bedrooms were later opened in 2012. 

Sandhurst Bishop Les Tomlinson blessed the new entrance, administration area, coffee shop, chapel and hairdressers on Tuesday. 

The bedrooms all contain an en suite and the facility includes landscaped courtyard areas where clients can relax with their family and friends. 

The redevelopment was worth $26 million. 

Mercy Health Bethlehem for the Aged chief executive officer Stephen Cornelissen said the original facility was opened in 1965 and was in need of a makeover. 

"In 1990 the Catholic Diocese were running it and in 2006 we took over running it on behalf of the Catholic Diocese," he said.

"We promised to upgrade it and we have replaced what was a 47-year-old building with a brand-new contemporary building." 

Mr Cornelissen said the new facility would be of great benefit to the community when accessing aged care. 

"It gives residents access to a facility that is contemporary and is as contemporary as the other 1000 beds we've got in Victoria and New South Wales," he said. 

"It is specifically designed for the care needs of today and specifically designed for the care needs of elderly people. 

"You have a state-of-the-art 120-bed facility run by an organisation that is passionate about caring for people in need."

Mr Cornelissen said it was important to have well-designed, care-friendly and high quality facilities for people to age safely.

He said aged care facilities needed to be able to support clients. 

"(Aged care facilities) are a place where people can live out their final years when medical conditions and the aging process has a negative effect on their ability to age at home," he said. 

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