New social support facility in Mernda

Work is starting shortly on a $2.7m facility in Mernda, which will provide much-needed day respite for older residents with care needs.

The project is jointly funded by the City of Whittlesea and the Victorian Government in response to community need.

City of Whittlesea Administrator Peita Duncan joined Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green MP to turn the first sod for the construction of the Mernda Village Social Support Centre.

“The Mernda Village Social Support Centre will make a real difference to the day-to-day lives of our City’s older residents and provide carers with crucial respite,” Ms Duncan said.

“We know people in our growing suburbs, such as Mernda have not been able to access respite services or have had to travel far to use similar facilities. So, we are pleased we were able to secure $1.24m from the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund, which alongside Council’s $1.45m, will enable us to build this much-needed facility.”

The three-room 75-place facility located next to the Mernda Village Community Activity Centre, aims to reduce social isolation by providing people that are frail, living with disability, memory loss (dementia), have limited mobility, and are 65 years and over, the opportunity to try new activities, establish links in the community and improve their overall health and wellbeing.

It will include 24/7 access to a Changing Places facility, providing people with high support needs and their carers a safe and accessible public toilet and change space.

The building will also have a strong focus on environmentally sustainable design, including solar panels and a water tank to re-use rain water.

Doreen resident Terri Mackenzie, a former aged care nurse who has been advocating for a support facility for many years, welcomed the upcoming works.

“I retired to Doreen about 10 years ago and it worried me about the lack of facilities for seniors in this area,” Mrs Mackenzie said.

“More importantly there was nothing for the carers. I could see people struggling that were looking after people but there was no support.

“After a lot of research and talking to councillors and politicians we (Doreen Seniors Group) started a petition and formed a little group, Spotlight on Aged Care. We got around 2500 signatures.”

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