Mercy to build aged care centre in games village
Victorian Aged Care Minister Gavin Jennings today announced Mercy Health and Aged Care as the developer of a large residential aged care centre in Parkville where there is a scarcity of places for older Victorians needing residential care. Mr Jennings and the chair of Mercy Health and Aged Care, Barry O’Callaghan inspected the 8500 metre site in the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village today where a 140-place aged care centre and up to 52 assisted living units will be built. The site is near the Reggio Calabria Club in the north west corner of the Games Village. Mr Jennings said a combination of high land values in the established suburbs and the need for many older-style nursing homes to commit to substantial expenditure to meet Commonwealth accreditation standards had led to a drop in residential aged-care places in the inner suburbs. Health Minister and Member for Melbourne, Bronwyn Pike, said Parkville Gardens would enhance the Commonwealth Games legacy and fill an identified service gap for disadvantaged older people in the northern and western areas of Melbourne. “Both the Northern and Western regions have the highest average rate of Victorians 70 years and over living in rented accommodation – 10 and 11 per cent respectively – and we need to plan to support these residents in their later years,” Ms Pike said. “The complex includes a 140-bed residential aged care facility, up to 52 assisted living units for singles and couples and a community hub with a pharmacy and medical rooms,” she said. Construction is due to start in 2007. Minister for Housing Candy Broad said the announcement follows the first tenant moving into the 100-unit social housing development at the Commonwealth Games village on the weekend. “The Commonwealth Games has provided a lasting social benefit in the form of 100 new social housing units and townhouses and an aged care centre,” Ms Broad said. Mr Jennings said the Government was committed to meeting the challenges of an ageing population and the needs of the most vulnerable Victorians. “This facility is particularly welcome because of a shortage of aged care facilities in inner Melbourne,” he said. “The complex will complement other initiatives that I announced recently to provide more aged care beds through the Aged Care Land Bank pilot, increasing the number of high care residential aged care services within Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs.” Mr Jennings said the Bracks Government set up a fund worth $4.8 million in the last Budget to allow surplus land in the inner suburbs to be sold or leased at concessional rates to the not-for-profit sector to provide much needed residential aged-care places. Under that program, Churches of Christ Community Care will develop a 90-place centre in Preston and Uniting Aged Care will develop a 90-place aged care centre in Coburg on surplus State Government land. “Over the past three years many residential aged-care places around the inner and middle parts of Melbourne have closed as older style places struggle to meet the Commonwealth’s 2008 certification requirements.” “While there is no net loss of places to Victoria, there is a redistribution to the outer suburbs, meaning that people who have lived in the inner and middle suburbs are forced to move out of their community to access residential care,” Mr Jennings said. “One in four Victorians will be aged 60 and over by 2021. Within that, the number 80 and over will grow at a proportionally higher rate.” Mr Jennings said the Bracks Government’s commitment to making Victoria a great place to live and raise a family included making sure senior Victorians were supported with quality aged care services and facilities.