Day respite centre opens in Katherine

The Day Respite Centre allows clients to have a say about how they want to spend their time. Mary Magdaline Kingsley spends her days creating art.
The Day Respite Centre allows clients to have a say about how they want to spend their time. Mary Magdaline Kingsley spends her days creating art.

Carers NT’s new Day Respite Centre officially opened its doors in Katherine today. 

The first of its kind in the area, the centre provides frail-aged clients in full-time care a home away from home and a respite for their full time carers. 

In the NT alone there are about 30,000 unpaid carers who provide support to family members or friends.

The official opening brought along Carers NT president Greg Shaw and CEO Steve Vitone. 

Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson, was also there to assist in the official opening, and said the space has a “great energy”. 

The centre received funding last year under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), which supports increasing client independence in an attempt to keep older people in their homes. 

Carers NT manager of aged care services Teresa Smithson said the centre is about re-enablement and choice.

Carers NT president Greg Shaw, Katherine aged care team leader, Andrea Wilson, Manager of aged care services Teresa Smithson and Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson at the official opening of the Day Respite Centre in Katherine.

Carers NT president Greg Shaw, Katherine aged care team leader, Andrea Wilson, Manager of aged care services Teresa Smithson and Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson at the official opening of the Day Respite Centre in Katherine.

“It’s making sure our clients have control over what they do here, the activities they participate in, what they want to eat,” she said. 

“When they come to the home we don’t do everything for them.”

The centre replicates a home to make clients feel comfortable and most importantly provides social interaction for older people who might otherwise miss out. 

Full time support worker at the Day Respite Centre, Lyn Guymer spends her day assisting the clients their day-to-day activities while also ensuring the client builds independence. 

“We want enablement and we to keep their independence alive,” Mrs Guymer said.

Currently the centre has four clients and is open to low-care clients who just need a little bit more support.

Mary Magdaline Kingsley who has been going to the Day Respite Centre since December, says the centre has saved her life. 

“Today is very emotional for me,” she said.

“I feel happy all the time and I can make my bush medicine which helps me with my renal disease,” she said. 

The centre is located in Katherine East and is open from 7am to 7pm. 

The Day Respite Centre provides a flexible and affordable service to ensure all carers have access. 

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