The Greek community will enjoy an increase in the number of nursing home places available to the elderly following the announcement of a new 90 bed nursing home in Thornbury by Penni Michael, Chief Executive officer for Fronditha.

The construction of the new nursing home will commence by mid June and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

“The neighbours who had objected to the planning permit issued by Darebin City Council, have withdrawn their application for a review by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal,” Ms Michael said.

The nursing home project will now proceed as planned, with Fronditha seeking tenders from building companies by the end of March.

The facility will play a very important part in meeting the need of the Greek community for nursing home beds. The Commonwealth Government has changed its policy on ethno-specific beds and is more likely to issue multicultural beds.

Thirty of the 60 bed licenses are for the multicultural community, however 15 will be specifically allocated for dementia care for the Greek elderly.

Fronditha Care has had numerous requests for dementia specific placements at Thornbury and this is clearly a need within the Greek community.

However, the construction of 64 retirement village apartments that was originally proposed for the Thornbury site will be postponed.

“The current economic conditions are not favourable for this project to proceed at this point in time,” explained Ms Michael.

“Declining house prices, coupled with decreased returns on investments have reduced significantly the financial viability of this venture,” she added.

Yet, she didn’t rule out the possibility of going ahead with construction plans of the retirement village project once the economic situation improves.

The CEO of Fronditha Care also expressed her gratitude towards the Greek community for its donations for the Nursing Home construction.

“The cost of the new facility will be $11.5 million and in the absence of any government grants, Fronditha will need to be borrowing a significant proportion of the funds required. Therefore, all financial support from the community is very much needed and highly valued,” Ms Michael noted.