Hello to all,
As we approach the cooler months, I have a few items of interest to pass on.
After a soggy start to the year including recovery from some flooding in several of our Villas from surface run off, we commenced the year again affected by COVID-19 outbreaks in the Homestead, Cottages and Apartments\Villas. COVID-19 is still a huge inconvenience, but it’s now reluctantly accepted as part of the aged care environment even though we are still burdened with RAT testing all visitors, mask wearing and quarantining of staff for 7 days. Please assist as you can with infection control practices when visiting any of our facilities so we can minimize disruption and the impact on Residents.
2. Great News about Accreditation
The first piece of significant news in February of this year is our Residential Aged Care facility – the Westmont Homestead and Cottages underwent accreditation – something that was 18 months overdue. Three inspectors spent 3 days poring over all aspects of our care and systems and the great news is we emerged with all 8 standards and 42 requirements met. This accredits Westmont for another 3 years and shows the quality of our care and systems.
3. Capital Plans
In terms of capital plans, we are revisiting the plans and costs for the Westmont Cottages Stage 2 at Baranduda including another 30 dementia specific beds and a new purpose-built Community Dementia Activity Centre which will also include a new kitchen and laundry facilities for the Cottages. This has an approximate cost of $11m so we need to now try to gain the funding to be able to look at commencing this hopefully in 2024.
4. Senior Lifestyle Village
The Senior Lifestyle Village has not progressed as planned due to a number of issues and is currently under review. Escalating costs, building resource shortages, manufacturer delays and changing credit availability has forced us to reevaluate the viability of the project.
5. Community Services
Westmont Home and Community Services are now settled in their new building in central Wodonga at 170 High Street Wodonga (in the old ANZ Bank building) and have had all their signage and interior fit outs completed. Feel free to drop in and have a look and talk to the staff.
On the IT front, we have recently updated our internet capacity to make the network more robust and faster and we are moving our IT system to a more secure and modern cloud-based architecture. This will greatly improve our cyber security, the ability to recover from outages and allow us to enjoy the benefits of the modern Office 365 platform.
7. Welcome Government changes
A lot has been happening in the aged care environment with Government attention on aged care and its viability (something like 60-70% aged care currently in deficit) bringing some big changes including welcome wage increases to care staff to flow through in July and other financial and compliance changes. We now also have a star rating system which rates each aged care service against a number of factors. We currently are rated 4 out of 5 stars – workforce numbers and ratios are the area we need to work on to improve.
8. Annie’s Cafe, Homestead Entrance and Community Garden
Otherwise, the changes to Annie’s Café and front of the Homestead seem to have been well received and we are working with our neighbour developer Nordcon to lease an area – at least short term until they develop the land – for a Dog Park for residents. We are also moving our Community Gardens to a larger and better designed area near the Homestead water tanks to make way for Stage 2 of the Cottages.
Tony Dunn —CEO
Ph 02 6043 9999