Care for old people will get a boost with a $6.6m expansion program at the Old Timers Village, part of Frontier Services, which is now entering its second century of serving The Centre.
At the Old Timers Village on the South Stuart Highway, Flynn Lodge – at the northern end of the complex – will double in size with a 20 bed extension.
These will be for “high care” occupants.
An administration centre will be built south of the museum.
The Old Timers Home will also undergo extensive renovations to the Rosetta Flynn Wing at the front of the complex.
The Hetti Perkins Home in Percy Court, entirely for Aboriginal people and also run by Frontier Services, will double in size from 40 to 80 beds.
It has the full range of care.
The organisation’s Regional Manager, Sharon Davis, says Frontier Services now covers the full gamut of aged care.
This ranges from supporting people to stay in their own homes, even until they die, to high dependency care.
Both Hetti Perkins Home and Old Timers have the full range of care for people preferring or needing to be in a residential care service.
About one third to half of the patients in the 68 bed Old Timers are Aboriginal.
Flynn Lodge is low-care. It has 10 beds for dementia residents or others “at risk of social isolation”.
Ms Davis says the Old Timers Village has an average occupancy of 97% but once the extensions are completed the town’s need will be fully met.
She says the wish list still includes renovations to some of the present 41 cottages – and building a few new ones.
Ms Davis says the Cottages are run outside the Retirement Villages Act of the NT: “With us you don’t need $200,000 to come into our village. What you have in your bank account doesn’t interest us.”
People are renting cottages, and can claim rental assistance under the Department of Housing NT scheme.
Every level of care is available on the same site, allowing people to receive the care they need without needing to move.
PHOTOS: At top – Margaret Pickard in the showpiece front yard of her and her husband’s cottage. Above right – Jocelyn Rose is tended by Vimbai Macheza.