More beds and better care

Smiling members of Abbeyfield Barossa standing on the site of the planned 8 bed upgrade to their Community owned and run Residential Aged Care facility. Photo: Simon Taylor
Smiling members of Abbeyfield Barossa standing on the site of the planned 8 bed upgrade to their Community owned and run Residential Aged Care facility. Photo: Simon Taylor

Not-for-profit aged care facility Abbeyfield Barossa will be looking to expand after a $2.8 million federal grant was announced last week. 

The facility, located in Williamstown, will be using the money to upgrade infrastructure for an additional 8 beds, increasing from 23 to 31.

Abbeyfield Barossa Chair Simon Taylor said the government support will have a huge impact on the future of the site. 

"It really is very exciting," Mr Taylor, who has been the chair of the Board for 4-5 years, said.

"It (the grant) helps to solidify our future."

Once completed, the upgrade will not only let Abbeyfield provide more service to a greater number of people, but Mr Tayor said that the upgrade facility will also operate more efficiently and at a lower cost per resident. 

General Manager Gerry Lloyd and Kate Thorsteinsen, Member of Board of Directors.

General Manager Gerry Lloyd and Kate Thorsteinsen, Member of Board of Directors.

"With the cost of aged care just going up and up this really helps," Mr Taylor explained.

"It also shows the Government has confidence in what we are doing."

The organisation has been hoping to secure the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) for a number of years, as it is one of the few ways that not-for-profit aged care organisations such as Abbeyfield can support infrastructure upgrades. 

ACAR is a federal initiative through the Australian Department of Health. 

While it is open to all prospective and existing approved providers of aged care, Mr Taylor had hoped that their status as a community run not-for-profit would help their chances at being successful.

The grant will be spent to cover the cost of licences and infrastructure for the eight additional beds. 

The services provided by Abbeyfield include retirement cottages, rental units, respite care (funded or private), meal services, day respite, and home care packages.

Ron Fromm, Abbeyfield Patron and John Wagner, Secretary of Board.

Ron Fromm, Abbeyfield Patron and John Wagner, Secretary of Board.

Community driven care

Abbeyfield Society of Barossa Inc began the early 1980s and was the brainchild of forward-thinking locals to plan for retirement and ageing needs of the community.

Donated community land was used to develop affordable housing rental and eventually an 11 bed aged care hostel.

The board was, and continues to be, made up of community members, passionate about the facility and its services. It has continued to expanded and includes seven independent living homes nearby allowing families to stay connected and local people to age in-place.

It is the largest employer in the small community of about 2700, with 58 employees and more than 60 active volunteers.