Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
At Nagambie Healthcare (NHC), fostering a friendly and inclusive community with a strong social fabric is just one of their many goals, as they provide supported living, respite and palliative care.
Overlooking the beautiful Nagambie Lake, the NHC facility has been providing care for the elderly since 1926. Locally owned and supported, the team understands the challenges their patients have faced by living in a rural area, and the social isolation that follows.
To create a stronger sense of connection between the different generations in Nagambie, NHC looked at different projects that could bring together the young and the old for a collaborative activity that would be sustainable for the generations to come, and would improve the environment surrounding their facilities.
After consulting with their residents, it became clear that there was a strong desire to pass along their knowledge from the many years spent gardening. The idea was to create community garden, where members of the community could come together the share knowledge, preserve local history, and promote life long learning.
The ‘Let Us Grow Together’ project involves residents of NHC, local schools and kindergartens, as they grow potted plants to sell in their thrift shop for special festive occasions, and grow vegetables for the their kitchen, which supplies produce for residents. The garden has been so popular that the activity has extended into creating a recipe book as a fundraising activity for NHC.
NHC applied for the Caring for Ageing Rural Australians grant from FRRR, which provided $6,250 to build the hot house that is now enjoyed by aged care resident, community members and community groups.
While the garden has been a huge success, NHC are most proud of the level of participation from residents and community members with dementia, and seeing the reward they gained from taking part.
The garden has provided residents at Nagambie Healthcare with a new activity to keep their passions alive, and pass their knowledge along to their local community. And as the saying goes – from little things, big things grow – and FRRR is proud to support NHC as they continue to grow.
Yackandandah is a quaint village located in the valleys of the Stanley State Forest in North East Victoria. Known for its gold mining history, the town is well preserved and popular with tourists. However, the impending closure of the towns medical centre looked to be a big blow for full time residents, particularly those living in the Yackandandah Bush Nursing Home.
Without a local ambulance and limited public transport options, older and younger residents alike had their health put at risk by the potential closure of the local medical clinic. Yackandandah Health, who also run the nursing home, stepped in, assuming ownership of it and setting about ensuring that the residents could receive the care they needed.
The clinic was not in the best condition and was only able to operate 1.5 days a week, which is why a $37,367 from FRRR as part of the Caring for Ageing Rural Australians was so important. With a fresh coat of paint and new seats that were safe for the older residents to sit in while being attended to, and a new doctor, the clinic is now able to offer medical care in a comfortable setting five days per week.
Annette Nuck, who is the CEO of Yackandandah Health told the FRRR team; “Yackandandah was at risk of losing their medical centre. This project has enabled us to provide a modern general practice for the community. In the 12 months of operation, we have grown the business to now support two doctors providing care 5 days per week. The practice has also added midwife care services after the community requested this in a survey. We have a practice nurse, practice manager and receptionist – all local people gaining employment in their town.
“The community has supported and embraced the practice. We have over 700 patients registered, with ongoing community support with fundraising to further improve our services.”
Outcomes like this for rural areas are incredibly important. On average, Australians living in rural areas have much poorer health outcomes, live shorter lives and are unable to access the healthcare they need due to distance or availability. Clinics like the Yackandandah Health Medical Centre are vitally important to closing this gap and increasing wellbeing and health outcomes for our ageing rural Australians.