Big move in the Top End

Forty residents have been transferred to their new home at Darwin’s largest seniors living community, which is undergoing a $35 million redevelopment.

The first 40 residents have moved into an upgraded ageing-in-place facility, set on the site of Darwin’s only private retirement village.

The residents made the move from the Darwin Nursing Home to the redeveloped Tiwi Gardens Lodge, which is part of the Tiwi Gardens Seniors Living Community.

When completed, the lodge will be home to 135 residents. Over 80 new single rooms with ensuites will be added as part of the upgrade.

“This will make Tiwi Gardens Lodge the largest and most modern residential aged care facility in the Territory,” said Masonic Homes, executive manager for the Northern Territory, Leonie Pratt.

The move is the culmination of 12 months of careful planning and was assisted by over 20 Masonic Homes staff and many family members.

The transfer was managed by two supervisors – one based at Tiwi Gardens and the other at the soon-to-be decommissioned Darwin Nursing Home.

Ms Pratt said the organisation’s staff went to every effort to smooth the transition for residents.

“On the whole we had a positive reaction,” she said, “But of course there was a settling in process.”

“Some residents had spent more than five years in the Darwin Nursing Home and it was their home so we took extra time and effort to explain the process to them.”

“The relatives were very helpful and we had encouraged them to be around to assist the residents moving into their new home.”

A new day therapy services and community care centre is expected to be commissioned during the next month, along with administration offices.

Four residents have just moved into the site’s new independent living units as well.

For more information about the Tiwi Gardens development project, see the 2007 and the 2008 November/December editions of Australian Ageing Agenda magazine.

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