Blue Haven Bonaira opens its doors

The Open Day at Blue Haven Bonaira attracted 2000 visitors, four to five times as many as expected, as locals took the opportunity to inspect the state of the art complex.

A $106 million facility, servicing an aged care home for 134 residents and 58 independent living units, Blue Haven Bonaira is the largest single building project undertaken by an Australian council in recent years.

Residents of the existing care home will be moving in over three days in mid-December, with the first independent living unit residents also moving in during that week.

Barroul House, the original homestead, and part of the old Kiama Hospital, has been restored as a café for residents and visitors (due to open before Christmas).

There’s also a community hall (named after Tony Matterson, the General Manager who established Blue Haven forty years ago), a wellness centre, a hairdressing salon, specialist consulting rooms, and meeting rooms for residents and Blue Haven community services programs and activities.

The Open Day followed the Official Opening on 22 November, which recognised the funding support of the Australian and NSW governments.

The Federal Government contributed $1.4 million for the refurbishment of historic Barroul House, and $2.4 million for the community hall and meeting rooms.

The State Government contributed a total of $14.8 million.

“People were very impressed with what has been achieved,” says Mayor Mark Honey.

“There is a lot of interest in the ballot of the final eight units, above the community hall.”

The ballot is on 3 December.

The Bugle put the call out for a special correspondent to give a local’s first impression of the new complex. Candy Andersen volunteered, and her report follows. As you’ll see, she was impressed.

A local resident’s first impressions
Spacious, welcoming, comfortable, light-filled, airy. These were my initial impressions on entering the residential aged care Homes, Lilli Pilli and Cedar, within the new Blue Haven Bonaira Village.

Wide timber hallways lead to several modern, roomy, communal dining and relaxation areas where plush sofas and arm-chairs covered in vibrant fabrics enliven the spirit and large flat screen televisions and gas heaters ensure comfort.

Off to each side of the wide hallways are the bedrooms, all of which are painted in calming, muted tones and have attractive furnishings and individual room controlled aircon, as well as modern ensuites. They were also suitably equipped with safety rails and handles around toilets and showers, as well as shower chairs for wheelchair bound residents.

All communal areas and most bedrooms have pleasant garden outlooks which will only become more beautiful as the recent plantings grow. Fantastic to see that the existing large eucalyptus trees have been preserved.

Other areas that particularly impressed me were the wellness centre, the hairdressing salon, the artwork throughout (I recognised work by several local artists), the viewing deck with spectacular views over the coastline, the kids’ playground and the beautifully restored historic Barroul House, which will serve as a café for residents, visitors and the general public.

The Open Day was very well attended and was more like a happy social outing – think most of Kiama must have been there – which augurs well for the future residents! I am sure that many of our elderly folk were thinking “Wow, when can I move in!”

Congratulations to Kiama Council on the completion of such a well-designed and inspiring project.

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