Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas today announced the Hepuburn Shire is among the successful recipients of $5.3 million in aged care equipment and facility upgrades that create new ways for residents to stay connected with each other and their loved ones.

The program helps staff provide more diverse and meaningful activities for residents and enhance their engagement with the outside community, particularly during the global pandemic, when people can’t always rely on their usual methods of communication and contact.

Across the State the investments include:

  • $1.6 million in grants for services to purchase devices such as laptops or tablets. This equipment can be used to help residents keep in touch online with family and loved ones and to bolster telehealth capacity,
  • $2.3 million for a pilot program to establish kitchen gardens in residential homes and improve wellbeing and social connections for residents, and
  • $1.4 million to provide minor capital grants through the Significant Facility Refurbishment Initiative (SFRI) to support projects that enhance the quality and amenity of residential aged care facilities that directly benefit residents.

Recipients include Daylesford Nursing Home & Lumeah Lodge Hostel and the Trentham Hostel & Trentham Nursing Home. Both received $45,000 to enhance resident wellbeing and promote a formalised approach focused around gardening.

These grants also support the recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission, which identified the need for greater emphasis on programs that increase community engagement, reduce social isolation and enhance resident wellbeing. The Labor Government has invested more than $618 million in capital improvements to public sector aged care since 2014, including more than $320 million in rural and regional Victoria.