Cooinda Aged Care is a non-profit organisation that has been providing aged care facilities since 1965. It is located in Gympie, a regional town in the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland. The facility is spread across a large expanse of land with the natural surroundings providing an ideal environment for its residents.
Over half a century ago, The Apex Club of Gympie realised that their community needed a facility to cater to the needs of older people. Soon a committee was established for the purpose of raising funds. A large number of contributions were received and the project also garnered funds from service clubs and church groups.
Cooinda Aged Care started operations in December 1965 with the capacity to accommodate 32 residents. About 12 years later, an additional block of 12 rooms was added.
The facility continued to expand its services over the years. In 1999, a new laundry was established within the premises. Four years later, a multi-purpose room was added to provide a Chapel for the residents.
While Cooinda continued to expand, it kept its focus on the welfare and health of its residents. Throughout the facility’s five-decade-long history, the emphasis has been on ensuring that there is a safe and friendly atmosphere which respects the rights and dignity of residents and staff.
In 2008, the facility added the Clarkson Wing, which included 34 single rooms with private ensuites, an Administration area and a café. The Chatterbox Café is a major attraction for residents and their families. It is open five days a week and provides a wide variety of meals, snacks and hot and cold beverages.
A Doctor’s Clinic was also added along with an expansion in the common areas for residents. In 2012, a five-bed extension was built. In the same year, 15 rooms were provided with overhead hoist systems.
Even though Cooinda Aged Care has been increasing its capacity to accommodate residents significantly, it has simultaneously taken a number of steps to upgrade its facilities. The staff are warm and friendly and go to great lengths to ensure the comfort of residents.
Robyn Kross, Cooinda Aged Care’s CEO explains how the facility maintains its focus on service and on meeting the needs of residents, “We participated in the National Aged Care Quality Indicator trial. We have a yearly audit program looking at each of the accreditation outcomes.
“The audit on each of those outcomes identifies any deficiencies. We also conduct staff, resident and family satisfaction surveys every year. We have a residents’ meeting on a monthly basis. All of our heads of department attend that particular meeting. Any issue that arises can be addressed straightaway because the heads of department are aware of it.”
In its latest expansion, Cooinda Aged Care has added the Davidson Wing, a 24-bed memory support unit. Targeted at those afflicted with dementia, it will provide all the facilities that are necessary to keep them safe while giving them the ability to remain as independent as they possibly can.
The new unit has been designed keeping in mind the specific requirements of those affected by this illness. The facility has been provided with way-finding so that patients will not get lost. There is an emphasis on the external environment so that residents are able to walk freely throughout the unit with areas to sit and observe and areas of engagement in specific activities. The Model of care being utilised focuses on maintaining independence and choice.
Cooinda Aged Care’s key suppliers for electrical work, air-conditioning and plumbing have been with them for many years. A high degree of trust and mutual respect has developed between the aged care facility and the suppliers with the result that Cooinda Aged Care receives the best quality of service at reasonable rates.
In the last few years, substantial redevelopment work has been done and a great deal of efforts and money has been spent on upgrading the facilities for residents. Active Medical Supplies is one of Cooinda Aged Care’s most trusted vendors and has been instrumental in providing best-in-class equipment.
Crown Furniture is another supplier that has been used over the last five years to supply all the new aged care furniture that has been procured. A refurbishment of the dining area was done in 2012-13 and all the furniture was supplied by Crown Furniture.
As Cooinda Aged Care is a regional facility, most of the suppliers that provide it with chemicals and medical supplies are located in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
Ambitious plans for the future
Robyn Kross gives details of how the facility plans to expand, “At the end of next year we are looking at adding 32 assisted living units to our facility initially. We will be demolishing the old section and putting up these units in its place. That will be separate from our residential aged care section of the facility. We are lucky that we have 25 acres of land. We are currently building a 50 bed wing which will open in December 2016. A second 50 bed building is then planned, which will allow for the older section of the facility to be demolished and Assisted Living units constructed in that space.
“Over the last three years, we have focused very much on increasing our allied health care. On the staffing side for allied health, we now employ a physiotherapist, three occupational therapists, three massage therapists, and two allied health assistants.
“We are working on a fall prevention program and a gym program. We are using this to enhance the strength of residents and increase their independence. Our focus is on their rehabilitation and wellness.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Cooinda Aged Care Centre
WHAT: Cooinda Aged Care Centre is a non-profit organization, belonging to the Gympie community and is administered by a committee of community minded business people and retired professionals.
WHERE: Queensland 4570