EXCITEMENT is mounting among residents and staff at Banksia Lodge in Foster and Prom View Lodge in Toora, as the brand new facility they will soon share in Foster nears completion.
The new facility now has a name. It will be known as Prom Country House. This was the winning suggestion in a competition run by the committee of management. The aim was to have a name representative of the wider Corner Inlet area that reflected the ‘Prom Country’ brand, was not specific to either Foster or Toora and did not reference either of the current names.
“These criteria were put in place to ensure that the name is reflective of the community as a whole and also provides a new start for the coming together of the two homes,” said Prom Country Aged Care business manager Emma Harry.
Geoff Davey of Foster came up with the name, ‘Prom Country House.’ As the competition winner he will be a special guest at the grand opening of the new facility.
The official opening of Prom Country House is not likely to be held until early next year, but the building should be completed next month, specifically mid to late November.
As he led one of several tours of the building site last Thursday, Prom Country Aged Care chief executive officer Rhett McLennan said that he should know within the next couple of weeks when residents will be able to move in.
Tradesmen were still applying finishing touches to the building as the small groups of staff and community members toured the site last week, but the high quality of the design specifications and workmanship was very much in evidence.
On first glance the complex looks massive, but there is logic to the layout, which is in a grid pattern, and most people should be able to find their way around without difficulty. One side of the main passageway is essentially for the residents and the other for services, and there are three colour coded sections or ‘pods,’ each with 20 beds and their own nursing stations, cleaning stations such as hand-washing facilities for staff, kitchenettes and tea and coffee serving facilities. Other features in each pod include treatment rooms where allied health professionals can meet with residents, and activities rooms with kitchen facilities.
Particularly impressive is the main kitchen, which boasts the latest in commercial kitchen technology, including an oven which can be programmed well in advance. The kitchen has the capacity to prepare as many as 120 meals – though there will initially be only 60 beds in the facility. Meals for all the residents will be prepared in the kitchen and then sent down to the various kitchenettes to be warmed (if necessary) and distributed to residents, who will be encouraged to serve themselves in the dining area in each pod.
The administration section near the main entrance has a staff room which can be divided in two. It features a motorised screen and a data projector and there are shower facilities, handy for staff who cycle to work. There’s an archive room, a hairdressing salon and a reflection room – for anything from religious services to quiet reflection – and a spacious function room. The generator is housed in a well-insulated room so as not to disturb residents or staff. Conveniently close to the doctors’ room, as they noted in their tour of the facility (!) is a café which will be staffed five days a week, selling coffee and snacks. Residents will be able to entertain guests here. There is also a room for formal dining which they may choose to use on occasion. Next door is a cinema room, set to have lounge chairs and a big screen. Occasionally there is a need for families to stay overnight, so there is even a ‘family room’ at Prom Country House. It is clear that a huge amount of thought has gone into the design of the complex, with the aim of making the lives of the residents as comfortable as possible.
The bedrooms, each with their own en suite, are of a fairly standard design, with a few differences – some are designed for complex care patients and have extra security and some have larger en suites to allow wheelchair access. There are three pairs of adjoining rooms suitable for couples. A particularly nice touch is the glass-fronted memory box on the wall in front of each room, designed to hold a few items of significance to the resident within.
The complex boasts lots of storage room, including room for walkers and wheelchairs under the benches in the hall, and an abundance of light, because of all the windows and courtyard gardens. The mini-lounge areas looking out onto gardens are a nice touch, as is the planned sensory garden, where residents will be encouraged to touch and smell the plants. Some residents may choose to grow their own flowers or vegies in raised garden beds, or perhaps nurture the seedlings in the planting house or greenhouse. Others may make use of the men’s shed –a room with workbench and easy access to the garden.
Its current certification dictates that the facility can have 60 beds, but there is sufficient land for that number to increase by 20 in the future. As for the old buildings, there are no plans at this stage to alter Banksia Lodge. It is likely to be used as accommodation – complete with kitchen and bathroom facilities – for medical students or perhaps as an extension to the community health centre. PCAC’s Toora property, Prom View Lodge, is set to be auctioned in mid-January.
Just the other side of the fence from Banksia Lodge the new PCAC facility, ‘Prom Country House,’ is nearing completion. Landscaping the gardens (above) is one task that still remains.
Staff members Chris Ursula and Lyn Williams measure a memory box. These are installed at the front of each resident’s room and will hold a few items of significance to the resident within.