New care hub will deliver enhanced services

UnitingCare community services provider, Juniper, plans to build an innovative aged care service hub in Kununurra to provide a full range of options to meet the needs and aspirations of the local community.

Vaughan Harding, chief executive of Juniper, said the project brings together 32 residential aged care places with home care and support services in a modern facility designed for the Kimberley climate and sensitive to local cultural expectations.

“We have worked closely with the community to help realise a vision for Kununurra, to bring enhanced aged care services and opportunities to the town and region that are designed to meet current and future needs,” Vaughan said.

Located on the corner of Coolibah Drive and Ivanhoe Road, the new facility will feature a range of accommodation layouts including single rooms with ensuites and two- and three-bedroom rooms with ensuites.

“There is a strong need for residential aged care and community care support services in the region and this, coupled with a high level of confidence and investment in Kununurra, will bring positive economic activity and important infrastructure to the town and wider community,” Vaughan said.

“A new aged care service hub will provide more options for people living in Kununurra and the wider region, whereas at the moment families and older people are often forced look to Darwin and Perth for care and support.

“In addition, the project will help stimulate local employment, career pathways and opportunities for student placements. Juniper is proud to deliver an innovative and capable aged care service where older people can remain close to family and friends and maintain strong connections to their community and culture.”

The care facility’s three accommodation wings overlook four central attractively-landscaped outdoor courtyards and a central, multifunction activities building. There will be space devoted to existing HACC and home care services as well as therapy and exercise spaces.

In addition to aged care accommodation, the facility will deliver nursing and dementia care services, medical care and allied health services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, massage and pain management. The aged care hub’s responsive amenities include:

  • a covered activities area catering for all residents, clients and visitors
  • modern administration offices, a medical consulting room and nurses’ treatment room for residents and community clients
  • a large commercially-equipped gourmet-style kitchen serving a large internal dining room overlooks the courtyard and alfresco dining areas
  • architecture aimed at maximising light and space while providing a high level of comfort and amenity for residents, clients and visitors
  • onsite-parking for staff and five onsite staff accommodation units, which are planned for the repurposed HACC building.

Juniper will jointly fund the project with the Commonwealth Government and will seek approximately $11.5 million in grant funding to help construct and commission the facility. Following resolution of land tenure negotiations and local planning approvals, construction is planned to commence early next year after the wet season and project completion is expected by the end of 2017.

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