Irvin House revamp

By Cobram Courier

Cobram’s Irvin House residents will soon no longer have to share a bathroom with their room mate after Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp announced that the facility will be receiving a $1.62million makeover.

Mr Gepp was at Irvin House last Wednesday on behalf of the Health Minister Jill Hennessy to announce the funding which falls under the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

‘‘This is already an outstanding facility,’’ Mr Gepp said.

‘‘The staff and residents know that this is already a wonderful place to live and come to work but in order to create a place where people want to stay you need to continually improve — and that’s exactly what this money will help do,’’ Mr Gepp said.

He said the funding would focus on converting the double rooms in the facility into single rooms with an ensuite to make it feel homelier for residents, while providing more privacy.

Mr Gepp said the project would not be an overnight process, with the build expected to take two years and be completed by the end of 2020.

The plans are currently being developed, with staff and residents to be consulted on the matter, according to Mr Gepp.

‘‘I really hope that by the end of 2020, people who live in this residence will proudly be able to say that they have their own little patch,’’ Mr Gepp said.

Cobram District Health Board president Dale Brooks welcomed the funding announcement.

‘‘We are very grateful that the government shares our commitment to providing good aged-care in our country towns,’’ Mr Brooks said.

‘‘From the hospital’s point of view, we are absolutely delighted to receive the funding grant.’’

Mr Brooks believes it is imperative that Irvin House is continually modified to keep up with the demands of modern health care.

‘‘When this nursing home was constructed in 1979, it very much mirrored a medical ward in the sense it was very clinical, it was a confined space and people did not spend a great a deal of time here with us.

‘‘But with the changes in health over the years, it is very important in aged-care that we have a great deal of focus on patient-centred care and we’ve aimed to transform Irvin House in to a home rather than a hospital facility,’’ Mr Brooks said.

Mr Brooks added that the Cobram District Health Board had spent a considerable amount of money addressing certain needs at Irvin House in recent years, and this particular funding allocation had come at a timely juncture after the board was unable to afford renovations on bedrooms in its latest spend.