Laurina Lodge celebrates

HEYFIELD aged care facility Laurina Lodge celebrated a major milestone last week, commemorating 25 years of operation.

Residents, staff and long serving volunteers came together for an afternoon tea, and enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on how the asset had benefited the community.

Beginning as a 30-bed complex, the facility has always enjoyed strong occupancy, and now houses up to 50 residents.

The name Laurina Lodge fittingly takes its name from the Hakea laurina flower – a familiar sight to many in the surrounding Heyfield area.

Laurina Lodge enjoys generous support from volunteers, who assist residents in activities and initiatives.

Volunteer of more than 10 years, Cherrill Marsh, said it was great to have an aged care facility the calibre of Laurina Lodge in a small town such as Heyfield.

“I’ve seen the lodge when it was first built and then over a period after that it’s just flourished,” she said.

“It’s just amazing.

“We are really fulfilled on what we do to make their [the residents’] lives happier in the facility.”

A major benefit for residents at Laurina Lodge is the fact that the aged care facility and hospital are all under one roof.

Laurina Lodge aged care quality officer Kerrin Komen believed this was a key to the facility’s success.

“One of the best things that sells Laurina Lodge is the doctors’ surgery and the hospital are linked by a passageway,” she said.

“On other sites you have to wait until doctors’ day, whereas we’ve got access to doctors that wander through every day, and they also have a rotation of students who come in and do education as well – so we just are so lucky.”

Ms Komen has been with Laurina Lodge since opening day, and paid tribute to all who enabled the complex to thrive.

“The volunteers and the board and the township – they would do anything for the people of Heyfield – especially for Laurina Lodge,” she said.

“When you look at where we are, we are a 50- bed facility and we are usually full.

“Compared to some of the other bigger places, it operates very well.

“It really has been a pleasure to be a part of all of this.”