THE first sod was turned on a $9.5 million Kelaston Residential Care redevelopment on Tuesday.
It will provide 30 new beds and upgrade the current Park Street facility’s administration, kitchen and laundry areas.
Ballarat’s Nicholson’s Builders will construct the new extension, which is expected to be finished early next year and help alleviate aged-care bed waiting lists.
Japara Healthcare Limited, which operates 35 aged-care facilities across Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia, runs Kelaston and Kiralee residential care homes in Ballarat.
Japara development manager Joel Wertheimer said the upgrade would provide between 150 and 200 temporary jobs.
“The addition of 30 new beds will result in much-needed residential care for ageing local residents, where demand for services in this area is on the incline,” Mr Wertheimer said.
Japara chief executive officer Andrew Sudholz said the 30 beds would boost the facility from 60 to 90 beds.
“It’s in response to a growth in demand by the elderly population,” Mr Sudholz said.
“There are currently 186,000 aged-care beds in Australia and we need to build another 70 to 75,000 beds over the next 10 years.
“This is an enormous challenge for the industry.
“In eight to 10 years, specific Alzheimer or dementia needs will also double.”
Mr Sudholz said the extension would be built in the same colonial style as the current building.
“The rooms will also be much larger than previously and the amenities better. It will be first class.”