The Southport School (TSS) and Carinity Cedarbrook have joined forces to launch Mudgeeraba’s newest aged-care facility, incorporating a cattle and horse farm.
In an Australian first, the $30 million residential aged-care property will offer hotel-style accommodation with hands-on farming experience and animal encounters, thanks to TSS livestock that are now housed on the 31-hectare site.
Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt officially opened the retirement site on Tuesday, November 14, which consists of 96-suite style rooms with shared dining, living and kitchen spaces.
The new partnership allows Carinity to offer its elderly residents a serene environment and the ability to interact with the animals.
TSS Science Agriculture Teacher Bruce Rutherford said it will also provide our students with closer access to the livestock where they will focus on animal husbandry and lot feeding steers for show and trials.
“Our students will run the daily farming operations and will also interact with aged-care residents through their farming commitments,” Mr Rutherford said.
Carinity CEO Jon Campbell said the partnership is a natural fit as Cedarbrook is a leading not-for-profit specialising in integrated aged-care and retirement communities and TSS is a leader in education.
“Our vision with Cedarbrook is to engage the local community and utilise our vacant land for creating social value and enterprise. Over time we see the farm evolving to engage residents in beekeeping and honey production and other activities such as an organic community garden,” Mr Campbell said
“It will also create an intergenerational bridge bringing together TSS students and elderly residents participating in joint curriculum and volunteering initiatives. While Carinity’s Pet Therapy initiatives deliver valuable companionship for residents, we have taken that to an entirely new level through our partnership with TSS.”
Mr Campbell said research suggests animals can reduce tension, fatigue and confusion plus boost enthusiasm, interest, activity levels and socialisation among aged care residents.
“We believe the presence of horses and cattle, the farming greenery and interaction with students in residential aged care will protect against the decline in mental wellbeing,” he said.
The Cedarbrook development, opposite the Mudgeeraba Show Grounds, delivers state-of-the-art accommodation for the aged-care community and utilises sustainable building features. Retirement villas and supported living accommodation are planned in the coming years, providing vital infrastructure for the Gold Coast’s growing aging population.
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