Rest-home extension opened

Welcome in . . . Ribbonwood Rest Home resident Charlie Davis formally opens the Tapanui facility’s new extension yesterday morning, overlooked by West Otago Health Ltd board members Will Byars (rear, left) and Allister Body. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON

A rural West Otago rest-home extension will allow greater flexibility of care for residents and their families.

Former West Otago Health Trust chairman Charlie Davis, 83, officially opened the five-bed extension to the Ribbonwood Country Home in Tapanui on Tuesday last week, during a ceremony attended by more than 100 stakeholders and wellwishers.

Present West Otago Health Ltd chairman Allister Body said it was fitting Mr Davis should open the $1.65 million extension, as he had been instrumental in guiding him on to the board about 15 years ago.

Since then, the health facility had expanded turnover and staff by nearly 300%.

The latest addition meant the facility as a whole had greater long-term viability, Mr Body said.

‘‘The extension brings total residential beds from 14 to 19, and also frees up a space for respite or palliative care, which has been an ambition from the outset.

‘‘We’re delighted to be able to deliver this facility for the people of West Otago.’’

Master of ceremonies Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan said West Otago worked well ‘‘as a team’’ to deliver community projects.

‘‘There’s something different that happens in West Otago, and there’s a pride and passion in making things shipshape and Bristol fashion.

‘‘This new extension gives the community the opportunity to hold on to the ones they love, and for the natural flow of younger people remaining in or entering the district to find housing, as people’s life requirements change.’’

The original facility opened in 2014, and has operated at 97% occupancy since.

The extension, which was modelled on the original facility’s design, was delivered on budget by Cook Brothers Construction following an 11-month build.