Construction works finish at Maitland aged care facility Benhome

The keys have been handed over for aged care facility Benhome, following the completion of a revamp worth $18m.

The expansion, which has added 45 additional residential aged care beds to the centre, comes after nearly 18 months of construction at the Regent Street premises. 

Benhome chairman of the board Bob Geoghegan said the development had numerous benefits, including the addition of a registered nurse being on site at all times. 

“The big thing about the expansion is that it gives us the economy of scale that we need to carry a registered nurse (RN) fulltime),” Mr Geoghegan said. 

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“It’s a significant investment in the people of Maitland.”

Aside from the increased residential space, the new works include a physiotherapy room, a hairdressing salon, a doctor’s consulting room and a new industrial kitchen.

The project also included the addition of 22 new car parks and the refurbishment of a historical, 1800s era Rose Cottage, which will be used as a staff headquarters. 

The expansion will bring the total residency of the Maitland Benevolent Society-owned facility up to 124.

An additional 25 staff are in the process of being recruited, bringing total staffing levels to about 100.

Benhome CEO John Cleary said roles in the administration, kitchen and laundry service roles were filling up quickly, but they are still looking for more registered nurses.  

Mr Cleary said both residents and staff were excited about the imminent opening of the new development. 

“It’s good that we’re up to the stage where we’re planning to occupy it,” he said. 

“Staff morale is really high – everyone is pretty excited and eager to get into it.”

His views were echoed by Benhome director of services, Irene Gill. 

“Everyone’s been very interested in it, we’ve been watching the progression of it all,” Ms Gill said. 

“It’s a long time coming, it’s going to be wonderful to have so much more space.”

Residents are expected to be moved into the new sections by mid-January.