Old Bar's Banyula Lodge extensions official opening

Barbara Hargans with her beloved mum Ellen Rose McCudden in October 2010, during 'Nell's' 90th birthday party.
Barbara Hargans with her beloved mum Ellen Rose McCudden in October 2010, during 'Nell's' 90th birthday party.

BARBARA Hargans will honour the memory her beloved mum when she officially opens the extensions to Banyula Lodge this Saturday, August 16.

The extensions to the Bushland Health Group Limited's purpose-built dementia unit include an additional 40 beds, which brings the total number of beds to 80.

This latest development is part of the five year $15 million capital works expansion announced by the board of directors in September 2011 to meet the anticipated demand for aged care services by the residents of the Manning Valley in the short to medium term.

Almost $11 million has been spent on these capital works so far, with the continued development of the Warrana Place Retirement village, the redevelopment of the former Bushland Place Nursing Home into a 40-bed dementia unit, and now this latest addition to Banyula Lodge.

With the incidence of dementia expected to increase threefold in the community by 2050, together with the demographic projections for those aged 70 and over by 2021, this new building will help address anticipated future demand in the Old Bar and Manning Valley area and provide a secure and pleasant environment for residents with dementia using the latest state-of-the-art technology.

Barbara's association with Banyula Lodge began in 2008 when her mum, Ellen (Nell) Rose McCudden entered care firstly for respite and later as a permanent resident.

The staff professionally and compassionately assisted the family throughout the development of Nell's dementia, showing them respect, kindness and comfort, which was greatly appreciated.

Over time Barbara became increasingly familiar with and to the other residents and with the approval of Bushland Health Management began visiting her mum and the residents at the Lodge in the late afternoon when it was still 'sun downing time' or what she observed to be 'struggle time' for both the residents and their dedicated 'care givers'.

Her involvement extended 'behind-the-scenes' and into the recreation time of staff members whose wholehearted contribution ensured the highly successful fundraiser, 'The Bar's Extraordinary Extravaganza', which raised $10,000 for a new entertainment system for the hostel residents to enjoy.

So it is in the memory of a 'very special' lady and the respect, kindness and comfort extended to her by her 'Banyula Family' that Barbara humbly agreed to open the new dementia wing at Banyula Lodge, Old Bar.

"I wish the existing and future residents (in their delightful new surrounds) and their families, the same respect, care, compassion, confidence, dedication, guidance and contentment that we experienced," she said.

"Dementia is an illness that is not selective, rather a condition that has no boundaries, striking people from all walks of life."

The official opening begins at 2pm this Saturday and will be followed by light refreshments and a tour of the community areas within the facility.