Much needed additional aged care for the East Kimberley has been commissioned with the official opening of Juniper Gerdewoonem (‘Juniper among the Boab Trees’).
Juniper Chief Executive Vaughan Harding said the new multipurpose facility expands vital services to the Kununurra community and provides greater opportunities for local employment and career paths in aged care.
“Our investment in the Kimberley is significant and this latest initiative builds on Juniper’s strong commitment to supporting older people and their families in regional Western Australia,” he said. “In addition to bringing much-needed accommodation, this multipurpose aged care facility enables the expansion of home and community care services in the region, so older people have greater access to vital services in town and may no longer travel to Perth or Darwin to get the help they require.”
Located on Ivanhoe Road next to Kununurra’s hospital, the $11.5 million project, co-funded by Juniper and the Commonwealth, combines new residential aged care with existing community care services, within an attractive, modern building specially designed for local conditions and climate.
Its amenities include accommodation; outdoor activities and alfresco areas; a medical consulting room and nurses’ treatment room for residents and community clients.
Juniper Gerdewoonem will provide permanent care services (residential and home care) for 70 to 80 older people comprising 36 licensed beds plus four overnight community respite beds and 40-plus home care recipients. The facility will employ more than 50 staff.
Vaughan said the project is part of Juniper’s strategic intent to double its capacity to meet WA’s rapidly increasing need for a variety of aged care and housing services. The organisation’s care services in Kununurra commenced in July 2014 and build on a strong commitment from its predecessor Frontier Services over the past 20 years.
“Our response to increasing need encompasses a strong presence across the region comprising aged care services in Kununurra, Wyndham, Fitzroy Crossing and Derby,” Vaughan said.
Juniper appointed Pindan Contracting to build the new Kununurra aged care facility and sourced many trades and services locally to boost economic opportunities in the township. More than $2.6 million was spent on local companies and suppliers.
Juniper Gerdewoonem was opened on 14 June by Juniper Board Chair Mr Fred Boshart and Federal Member for Durack Hon Melissa Price MP and was dedicated by the Uniting Church WA Moderator Rev Steve Francis.