A Hamilton respite centre has achieved a 30 per cent increase in offered services following a $80,000 renovation which was officially opened on Thursday.
Works to NovaCare’s Ailsa Craig Cottage were made possible through a Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation grant.
The cottage offers Hunter families day, overnight, emergency, and planned respite care with four private bedrooms available in the home-away-from-home service. The increase in services is equivalent to 2100 hours of overnight carer support.
“Respite care is so important, not just for the guests, but for caregivers. It provides caregivers an opportunity to rest and recharge while continuing to care for their loved ones,” Joseph McCarthy, NovaCare’s chief executive officer said.
“It was important to us that the result of this renovation was amazing, beautifully welcoming, as well as functional. We want guests to feel engaged when they come and spend time here and for caregivers to be worry-free while their loved ones are staying here.”
The renovation also included the construction of a men’s shed in the backyard, a BBQ, and the planting of a communal veggie patch and sensory garden.
One of the centre’s users, known as Kym, said the service is vital in allowing her mother to continue to live at home with her, rather than in a nursing home.
“Mum loves spending time at the Cottage, she enjoys the home-made meals and the social activities,” Kym said.
“For me, knowing mum is happy at the Cottage means I can continue to work and enjoy our time together. The Cottage and the support of NovaCare has been the difference between my beautiful mother being in an aged-care facility or living at home with me. They make it all possible.”
Charitable Foundation Chairman Phil Neat said the renovation was just one of the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s long list of recipients.
“The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation assists community initiatives and projects that directly address disadvantage, marginalisation or isolation in health, youth development, and social wellbeing for our communities,” said Mr Neat.
“The Ailsa Craig Cottage project is a stunning example of how our grants can make a significant difference to the lives of those in our community.”