Teloca House’s 15 bed extension is starting to take shape and renovations are ticking along nicely, according to General Manager of RSL LifeCare Stacy Moses.
“They’re on their way to being completed, we’re hoping for the end of the year,” Ms Moses said.
“It took a little while before things started happening because there’s so much to do with the groundwork.”
“There has been a lot of services upgrades in this build,” said builder Tom Zieschang.
“The stormwater drains, the sewers, the fire hydrant. It’s taken us a while but we’ve upgraded a lot of infrastructure.”
The timber frame work of the extension is already in place and already there are facilities in place to make life easier for the staff and the residents.
Hallways and doorways have been deliberately built to be wider, enabling easier access not only for beds and stretchers but for wheelchairs as well. There is also a large amount of shared space.
“This will be the common area, there’ll be a lounge room here and a nurses’ station over there,” Mr Zieschang said, gesturing to a large room.
“There’s bigger storage, space for linen trolleys. As much as it was designed to fit with the other part, it will look nothing like it.”
RSL LifeCare has tried where they can to use local contractors, although according to Mr Zieschang, it hasn’t always been easy.
“We’ve used a lot of contractors and builders from Wagga and Griffith and a lot of businesses from Narrandera as well.
“A lot of the local guys were busy though, but we’ve tried to use the locals when possible,” he said.
The bedrooms will be quite spacious, with all the bedrooms having access to the main verandahs. Currently each bedroom is sporting a puddle of water, a reminder of last week’s rainfall.
“As you can see, each room comes with its own spa,” Mr Zieschang joked.
“But at least I know the build is watertight,” he quipped.
Now that most of the preliminary work is done, the build will move along steadily.
“The roof goes on next week and the brickwork starts after that.
“It won’t look like we’re doing much after that because it will all be internal,” Mr Zieschang said.
Ms Moses discussed the plans RSL LifeCare has for Narrandera.
“When the extension’s done we’ll look at refurbishing the rooms we already have.
“We will also have a dementia-specific unit. It’s a high care facility and will be more secure. Dementia patients can’t come and go,” Ms Moses said.
“We’re expanding more into homecare. A lot of our staff at Teloca are helping with homecare,” Ms Moses said
With more people wanting to stay in their homes, it’s important that there are services available to make living at home easier.
“Everyone wants to stay at home for longer and if they do need respite care we have Teloca. Because we run the gamut of aged care services – we have retirement villages, aged care homes and provide at-home care – we can get a good grip on what we need to provide in a place like Narrandera,” Ms Moses said.
“It’s about ensuring good quality of life. It’s about making sure that people are active, it’s about creating good recreational programs.
“It’s such a wonderful story, Teloca House. It was fundraised for and built with so much community input, and now we’re trying to build on what the community started and offer more to the community.
“Teloca started out as an aged hostel and now we’re catering for high care patients.”
While it could be expected that the residents would find the work intrusive, Ms Moses said that wasn’t the case.
“The residents love it. They love seeing what’s going on. They’re loving the memorial wall, because it went up so quickly.”