Plans to convert parkland into aged care facility
WESTERN Downs Regional Council is in the process of rezoning the Horace Street Parkland before putting the block out to tender for the purpose of building much-needed aged care facilities for Dalby's senior population.
Ningana Retirement Village, which operates across the road from the parkland, approached the council late last year.
Chair of Ningana's management committee, Cr Carolyn Tillman, said the committee had "seen a need within Dalby for more aged care services” and "noted that was probably a good place for it to go”.
"Once it's put out for tender, we would certainly then look into what it would actually cost, whether we can afford to do it,” Cr Tillman said.
"We were really just opening up the discussion to see what is best, and what does Dalby need (in aged care).”
Changing the zoning of the parkland is impact assessable, meaning people will be able to have their say on the changes in the coming months.
As of Wednesday,
Ningana had 22 people on its waiting list for accommodation at the 40-bed low-care facility.
The Dalby and District Friendly Society Dispensary owns 21 independent living units for the elderly, but their wait list currently sits at 160 individuals or couples, according to CEO James Bannerman - and it's growing.
"There might be 200 individual people that we've accumulated over the years and names are constantly going on there,” he said.
"There is a high need for every level of aged care in Dalby... there's just not enough rooms to keep people in town,” he said.
"To keep the population here we would need a facility and you know I could see something worthwhile if a 100-room facility was built, it would be utilised. There's demand now.”
The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, operator of the 80-bed Karingal Nursing Home, said it did not have plans to expand its residential aged care services in Dalby.
While the DDHHS wouldn't release the number of elderly waiting to access services at Karingal, Darling Downs Health nursing director aged care Steve McNamara said Darling Downs Health manages new resident wait-lists at each of our residential aged care facilities.
"Darling Downs Health undertakes detailed service planning so we can continue to meet the healthcare needs of our communities. We don't have any current plans to expand residential aged care services in Dalby.”