Community Care
02 6043 9867
Village & Apartments
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Homestead & Cottages
02 6043 9999

Westmont News – Autumn – Issue 37

Autumn 2023

Hello to all,
As we approach the cooler months, I have a few items of interest to pass on.
1. COVID-19
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.

6. IT
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

The Westmont Board has been very busy working through all the financial challenges and compliance requirements in the changing aged care environment and making sure our governance remains robust and well connected. Our three new Board Members have settled in and are now actively contributing to the Board. Apart from the Board itself, we have 6 active sub-committees to focus attention and allow more detail to be discussed. These sub-committees are Audit, Risk and Finance, Village and Capital Projects, Community

Care, Governance, Clinical Governance and the Foundation Project.
Recently, Roger Snell announced he would be leaving the Board in June and it is planned he will be replaced by Nick Moore who brings a further member with a strong financial background to the Board. We thank Roger for his service and commitment and wish him well.

I hope we can meet many of you and see the great things you are doing to care for our Residents, Clients, and Consumers.
Dr W. Keeton —Chairman

Westmont is looking to grow its dementia capability 0 Would you like to help?

As previously announced, a new Foundation has been established by Westmont. Its purpose is to enable new projects that will support everything that Westmont offers to its Residents and the wider community starting with fundraising for the planned Community Dementia Centre build and specialist aged care equipment.

This new centre will benefit both our Residents who are living with dementia, as well as people in the wider community also living with dementia, who will be able to undertake social and other activities in day programs that will enable short respite breaks for their carers and their families.

We all know how important social connection is to each and every one of us and these opportunities for connection are even more desperately needed for people living with dementia.
To help you know more about this exciting development and our fundraising plans, we will shortly be launching a marketing effort to draw attention to our fund-raising effort and provide a simple mechanism for receiving and accepting donations. A gift\donations page on our website will be designed and created and we are also creating a way to accept donations at the Homestead\Cafe. Our aim is to offer the Westmont Community of Residents, Friends, Family and Clients a way to contribute and help subsidise the build of the expected $1.5m cost of the new Dementia Activity Centre through bequests, estates, or direct donation.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Eleanor at The Foundation Project.
Eleanor Fitz
Ph 02 6043 9999 – Email:

Meals on wheels is changing!

Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s
We are pleased to advise that Westmont in partnership with Fernbank, a local NDIS employment provider, is providing meals to our meals on wheels clients on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The meals are still being offered at the same price this financial year. Fernbank will be offering a 2-course meal consisting of a main meal (including a vegetarian option) and a hearty soup or desert/cake or slice. All special dietary options including gluten free and dairy free are available. Fernbank is renowned for its bakery delicacies.

Monday’s, Friday’s and weekend’s
We are also fortunate, that the Wodonga Hospital continues to provide wholesome and nutritious meals to our Clients. The hospital will continue to provide meals for the MOW Progra on a Monday and Friday and on the weekend.

The inclusion of two providers allows us to provide more choice and variety to our Clients. If you receive MOW on Tuesday, Wednesday and or Thursday you only need to review the menu that we recently sent to you and let us know your meal preferences.
We do our best to meet your service needs, but some services may be subject to changes or late cancellations. Many of our clients are aware that we are experiencing ongoing staff recruitment issues, which is a widespread issue across all industries and has increased substantially since COVID-19.

This may mean that we need to cancel non-essential services at short notice if we have carers away ill. We will only cancel services as a last resort. The onset of winter may see a rise in illnesses within our Staff. We don’t allow staff to attend work if unwell and have a strict COVID-19 testing regime with Staff required to RAT test regularly. Essential services such as personal care, meals on wheels, meal preparation and respite services are prioritised by us. Unfortunately, with staff absenteeism, we cannot always guarantee the same service time or carer. We completely understand that you make appointments around our service times, so we ask for your cooperation in keeping the morning or afternoon of your service free. If significant changes occur with your service such as the service changing to another day or the time changes by more than 2 hours, we will advise you, generally via text message. If your service is unfortunately cancelled, we try and reschedule your service on another day if possible. If you are prepared to be flexible with your service days/times and can respond with a carer attending at short notice (with 30 minutes notice), we can place you on a waiting list and keep you updated.

We would like to take the time to thank you for your ongoing support. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding during these difficult times. We realise that a lack of care staff can lead to service changes and cancellations directly impacts our ability to provide care services for you at home, with seamless continuity, quality and the consistency that we pride ourselves on. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience and ask for your understanding during these difficult times.
Maralee Vogel —Director Community Care
Ph 02 6043 9867

Westmont passes Accreditation!

We are very proud to announce we passed all eight standards with our re-accreditation back in February this year. The accreditation was undertaken on site over 3 days. This has reaffirmed all the hard work that goes into giving our Residents safe and high-quality care. A huge congratulations to everyone involved.

Employer of Choice

Westmont continue to recruit new RN’s, EEN’s and Care Staff. We have had large numbers of interviews being conducted with new experienced staff coming from other facilities, we continue to be the employer of choice in this region.

Palliative Care Training

The grant we received for End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) a few years ago is nearing completion. This has opened up a discussion about end of life planning and its importance for people entering Residential Aged Care. Selected staff have nearly completed palliative training to provide high quality care and support for our Residents and their families during the end of life process.


With flu season fast approaching, we strongly encourage Residents and Staff to stay up to date with thier vaccinations. All Residents and Staff have been offered and those that consented have received their Covid-19 and influenza vaccinations. This remains the most effective protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.

Electronic Medication Prescribing System (Medsig)

Our electronic medication prescribing system commenced on the 1st of February this year also known as Medsig. This has improved medication safety, reducing medication errors and residents care.


Our new uniforms have been rolled out, all the Staff are more comfortable and look sharp and stylish, there have been many compliments from the Residents too!

Permanent and Respite Beds

Our permanent and respite beds remain in high demand, this reflects our 98% and above occupancy levels. Our experienced admission nursing staff Carol and Kathryn are available Monday to Friday to discuss accommodation needs.

Fire Drill

We have recently commenced fire drill evacuation training in the Homestead, this is to ensure that Staff, Residents and Visitors understand what they need to do if there is a fire, test how effective our evacuation plan is and to help make any improvements. We will also be commencing with fire drills in the Cottages over the coming weeks.


The eight Trainees that we employed at the beginning of the year are enjoying being mentored and trained by our most experienced Carers, they have rotated to their next wings so they can experience all areas within the Homestead and Cottages. They are well on the way to completing their Cert III in Aged care and continuing their path to become excellent nurses.

Laura Souquet — Director of Care and Clinical Services
Ph 02 6043 9845

Thank you to our Hotel Services Staff

Once again, it has been a busy few months in Hotel Services. The rising cost of food, cleaning and laundry consumables, equipment costs, staff shortages and ongoing stock shortages, definitely makes our day-to-day operations a challenge. All our Hotel Service Staff continue to work tirelessly with a smile, to minimise these constraints on our Residents and to provide outstanding support services to the Care Team.

Food Registration requirements

Food Hygiene Australia visited Westmont to conduct their third Party Audit in April for the Homestead and The Willows. Again, only minor non-conformances were issued, and an Action Plan put into place to rectify these issues. As per every year, Wodonga City will conduct their unannounced visits for compliance as per our Food Registration requirements.

Autumn and Winter Menu

The autumn menu is onto its second rotation as we start to go into the colder months of the year. The Catering staff are currently working on some fresh ideas to add when Winter hits to swap things up a little.

Once again, we are still struggling with stock shortages, supply chain issues and the constant rise in food costs due to economic climate worldwide. The current feedback from Residents has been very positive as we always welcome comments (good or bad) to help improve our meal service.

New Uniforms

All Hotel Service Staff are now in their new Westmont uniforms throughout the facility. Catering Staff now wear a Black and White tailored checked short sleeved shirt, Laundry and Cleaning Staff wear a Blue, black and white striped/check tailored shirt with the Night Attending Staff in a Navy Blue polo top. All Staff look very smart in their new uniform which was implemented April.

Annie’s Coffee Shop and the Homestead Foyer

As per the last Newsletter, the Coffee Shop and front foyer at the Homestead were in the process of a remodel. As most families and residents have noticed, this remodel has now been completed. New vinyl flooring, fresh paint, new furniture, planting, art, water feature and display tv has made the front entrance warm, refreshed and a brighter place to sit, have a coffee and catchup with family and friends. Annie’s Café is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Remodel of B Wing Dining Room

Over the coming months we will be continuing with a remodel of B Wing dining room. This area will see new vinyl flooring to replace the carpeted dining floor. Also, the two small lounges at the end of the dining room will also get new carpet tiles.

Peter Ward—Hotel & IT Services Manager
Ph 02 6043 9851

Activity Innovation

Westmont Apartments & Villas are a hub of activity, we have welcomed the team from Community Care in a more hands on role with games in the Apartments activity room every Wednesday afternoon. This will be an ongoing initiative by Westmont to increase activity and stimulation of our Residents’ minds. Plans have been put in place for Community Care to attend and help Apartment and Villa residents and NOK to navigate the My Aged Care portal.

Consulting Rooms

Our consulting room is being utilised by many heath professionals with our aim to make it easier for residents to maintain their heath. Currently we have a GP one morning a week from Federation Clinic, Flex Out physiotherapy two days a week and we are excited to welcome Footstep Podiatry to compliment our offer.

Expressions of Interest Grow

The expressions of interest list continues to grow with many future residents expression of interest in Westmont “Ageing In Place “
philosophy .

Angela Collins —Apartments and Village Manager
Ph 02 6043 9832

As aways the team of Activity Officers have managed to create so much fun and meaningful activities for the wonderful people who live at Westmont Homestead and Cottages.

The Catholic College Choir: We all had a wonderful morning when we had our first visit from a  school since COVID-19 began. The Catholic College Choir sang and played instruments for us. They were absolutely amazing.

Wodonga Council Project: We also had the pleasure of helping with a Wodonga Council project making a bunting for one of their events which was displayed at the Cube, Residents had some fun cutting, and sewing with machines.

Animal Petting Zoo: Unfortunately, the Animal Petting Zoo was cancelled more than once for a visit, due to rain on the day, and of course COVID-19, but we are looking forward to their visit in Spring.

Two Wedding Anniversaries and a 100th Birthday: We have celebrated two Wedding Anniversaries, a 75th (Joyce and Roy) and a 72nd (Wasyl and Teodozia) and a 100th birthday (Nesta).

Country of the month: Lots of new experiences with our Country of the month, visiting cultures including The Netherlands, Philippines, and Ukraine with heaps
of involvement from, residents, family, and staff.

Families join Cottage Dinners: We have had good response from the family invited Cottage dinners, including Christmas, a beach party BBQ, and hippy themed event.

Homestead Entertainment: The Residents from the Cottages also enjoy our entertainment that’s provided at the Homestead, most times walking with a group to the event.

Community Garden: We have just planted our winter vegetables and flowers and looking forward to seeing the bounties of these.

Bingo: Still, our most popular group activities are Bingo and entertainment. We have wonderful Volunteers that help with both activities. Most
of our entertainers are volunteers and are very supportive with their time.

Thank you to all of our Volunteers

Thanks very much to all our Volunteers, we could never have enough of these wonderful people. If anyone would like to give up some
of their free time, we would love to hear from you.

News Archives


Westmont Aged Care Services Ltd is dedicated to providing aged, community care and lifestyle options to the people of our region with respect, dignity and choice.

Our philosophy is ‘Caring for All by All’. Continuous improvement is a driving force at Westmont as we welcome and encourage feedback from all our stakeholders.

Contact Us

Head Office
265 Baranduda Boulevard, Baranduda VIC 3691

Located on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.
Contact Us

Visiting Hours

Relatives and friends may visit the Homestead at any reasonable hour. All visitors are requested to sign in and out. It is encouraged that you call prior to visiting to ensure visiting hours have not been changed.