Aged care facility manager, Liz Lloyd, is very pleased with the quality of Geegeelup’s redevelopment

There’s a fresh, bright airy look to the bigger and better Geegeelup Aged Care Facility that’s doubled its capacity to 32 beds, while adding a big new dining and living facility to meet the growing need for aged care in Bridgetown.

With $7 million of Federal government funding, the building has been constructed to the best possible standard, according to Liz Lloyd, the manager of the aged care facility.

“We spent the money wisely and well, so we now have a state-of-the-art aged care facility,” Ms Lloyd said.

“We had an aged care architect to design everything … everything is light and bright, so it feels like a good space,” she said.

She said the project has been a long haul, taking four-to-five years to bring to fruition.

“It’s been a challenging time really because we had Covid, we had the build and we had a long rainy winter, but we’re just in that wonderful space now when we’re in the new facility and everyone’s happy.”

 The facility’s new beds will be open in December.

For Bridgetown people with elderly relatives it opens up the promise of having their relatives living close to home in town, removing the need for them to travel long distances to visit them.

“And that’s quite wearing on someone who’s caring for a relative – a lot of them are working and suddenly having to travel to Manjimup or beyond.”

The new facilities also guarantee Geegeelup’s long-term viability.

She said Geegeelup was independent and very community focussed.

“Our board are absolutely hands-on. If we need heavy lifting, or even helping with the refurbishment, getting things fixed and ready for operation they’ve been fantastic, so we have a big community feel for the place and love for the place,” she said.

Ms Lloyd said that with the modern focus on keeping the elderly in their own homes there were many community-based aged care services in town.

Bridgetown’s population skews older than the Australian average, creating a strong demand for aged care.

She said that the introduction of dementia care was a first for the town. Dementia is a growing health problem in Australia and is now the biggest killer of women in the country and the second biggest cause of death for all Australians.