Rest home seeks help

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Community-owned Seniorcare Geraldine (Waihi Lodge Care Centre) wants to raise $300,000 to redevelop its Firman wing and former manager’s residence.

The registered charity provides rest-home care and social housing for people in Geraldine and surrounding area.

It is wholly community owned and run by a board.

The redevelopment cost is $875,000 and, to date, the board has $150,000 from the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury, and $100,000 from the Southern Trust.

The balance is on hand from the sale of two sections and donations.

The Firman wing is the oldest part of the building (in central Geraldine) and has small rooms.

Milne Horne, the chairman of the board, said several families had inspected the rooms but gone elsewhere because the rooms were too small, did not have ensuites and needed refurbishment.

Mr Horne said that in today’s world it was almost expected that rooms have added features such as ensuites.

“To ensure that we remain a viable unit and that the day care continues, it is absolutely critical that we fill all 19 beds.

“To be able to do this, it is necessary to undertake a complete refit of the space, ensuring that we do not decrease beds in the process,” Mr Horne said.

There was a large lounge area at the end of the wing that was not used and could be incorporated.

The old manager’s residence on a mezzanine floor was originally quarters for the matron, but has not been occupied for 32 years and was wasted space, used only to store old equipment.

This area was now being designed to house three self-contained rental units which a real estate agent said could be filled as there was a shortage of rental accommodation in Geraldine.

More than 20 people work at the centre, and the centre’s function room is used by the community.