New Dubbo respite cottage offers a home-like stay while carers get a break

A new overnight respite cottage service in Dubbo will provide a welcoming home away from home for eligible older people with support from specialist trained staff.

Dubbo resident Peter Erickson sits with his wife Sharon, HammondCare CEO Mike Baird, Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson, and carers in the lobby of the new Mudyigaali Cottage in Dubbo Mudyigaali Cottage will be the first service of its kind west of the Blue Mountains, offering accommodation 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people aged 65 years and over, including the frail aged and those living with dementia, so that those who care for them can take time out.

HammondCare CEO Mike Baird, who officially opened the cottage on 10 February 2022, said HammondCare was delighted to bring to Dubbo its unique model of care based on a 90-year legacy of improving the quality of life for people in need.

“HammondCare’s model of care seeks to understand the needs of every individual and ensure they are met,” he said. “We know that no two people are the same and their care needs are different.

“Carers can have time for a break for themselves secure in the knowledge their loved one will receive specialised and care in a relaxing environment.”

Mudyigaali, which means “God, the Holy Spirit” in traditional Wiradjuri language, will offer accommodation for people aged 65 years and over, including the frail aged and those living with dementia, who are eligible under existing Government-subsidised home care or self-funded.

Respite care is available for periods of up to 10 consecutive nights.

Located in quiet Cudgegong Place, the modern single-level cottage offers a warm atmosphere specially designed to be comfortable for older people.

Dubbo resident Peter Erickson plays pool with HammondCare CEO Mike Baird and Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson at the new Mudyigaali Cottage in Dubbo

The home-like environment includes single rooms, wide doorways and spacious open plan living spaces. Guests are supported with daily tasks and social activities. There is even a pool table and a home theatre room.

As part of the stay, guests enjoy nutritious, home-style meals prepared fresh daily.

Dubbo resident Peter Erickson, who lives with dementia, became the first client of Mudyigaali Cottage before the opening. His wife Sharon Erickson, also his carer, said the overnight respite cottage model was attractive to them because it felt more like a home for her husband than other residential aged care services that offer respite care.

“There is nothing else quite like this in Dubbo available for stays seven days a week in a cottage environment,” Mrs Erickson said.

Sharon Erickson, wife of Dubbo resident Peter Erickson, cuts the ribbon at the cottage opening with HammondCare CEO Mike Baird and Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson

Both Mr and Mrs Erickson took part in the opening proceedings with Mrs Erickson making a short speech. She cut the ribbon along with Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson.

HammondCare At Home General Manager Bay Warburton said Mudyigaali Cottage was a winning outcome for both the carer and the loved one needing support. “When you are a carer, it’s important to take some time out to rest, recharge or take a holiday. What we will offer at Mudyigaali is more a homelike stay than traditional aged care accommodation.”

He said staff at the cottage under the leadership of manager Sharon Sutton can assist with information about eligibility and booking through My Aged Care.

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