On the 14th February 1960 The Lutheran Women of the Riverina region commenced providing residential care for the frail elderly in a small way, in a cottage in Albury, called Riverview Terrace, providing 17 aged care beds. These ‘pioneering’, and courageous women saw a need in the community and worked tirelessly to respond to that need. Without knowing what the future held, they were instrumental in bringing into being Lutheran Aged Care as we know it to-day.
While the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel and many others explored the culture of the times through music, the first Lutheran Aged Care 20 bed ‘Nursing Home’ (as they were then called), was constructed and commenced operations in 1975. Five retirement units were also constructed at the site with one visitor commenting “that he hasn’t seen anything as good anywhere in Melbourne”.
By the late 1980’s the local committee could see that the expectations of the community were changing in relation to aged care and it was decided to construct a new facility. The design was innovative at the time and a significant departure from the traditional “Nursing Home”.
This was O’Brien Court Albury and was the first Lutheran Aged Care residence that was purpose built. O’Brien Court has stood the test of time, albeit with some additions and renovation over the years, and is currently known as ‘Arrunga’ – a specialised memory support area.
1993 saw Lutheran Aged Care commence to offer Community Packages (now known as Home Care) in addition to providing residential aged care, while constructing a new 60 bed ‘Nursing Home’ which commenced operations in 1994 as ‘Yallaroo’ at 1 Stafford Road. Yallaroo was internally fully renovated in 2015 and continues to provide the values based, quality of care for which Lutheran Aged Care was becoming known. Yallaroo celebrated its 25th birthday in 2019.
‘Pemberton View’ Independent Living Village comprising 35 houses was the next addition in 1991 in line with the goal of being able to provide a continuum of care for frail elderly people of the District.
By 2001 Lutheran Community Care Services included services to Veterans, multi-cultural services and rural and regional services, (Corowa and Culcairn) and in 2005 began offering ‘Extended Aged Care in the Home’ or ‘EACH’ packages, which saw the beginning of the ‘High Care’ services which are now a feature of Lutheran Home Care.
‘Dellacourt’ residential aged care in Nicholson place opened in 2005 and linked with the existing O’Brien Court residence, creating a complex of 92 beds; an administration section, production kitchen and individual house dining rooms, serveries and a large multipurpose area also containing the Living Hope Chapel. The Alkira extension some four years later, increased the available beds onsite to 122.
Nicholson Park, the 2nd Independent Living Village was added in 2009 and remains very much in demand. In the same year ‘Emily Gardens’ at The Rock opened offering 30 aged care beds. Emily Gardens inception was a joint venture between The Rock Community, Lockhart Shire and Lutheran Aged Care and this beautiful country residence provides aged care to those who wish to reside in a country setting.
In 2015 Lutheran Aged Care was successful in being granted ‘Consumer Directed (Home) Care’ Packages, followed in 2017 by ‘Short Term Restorative (Home) Care’ packages; the first in the region to gain both specialised forms of Home Care.
It is with heartfelt gratitude to the Lutheran Women, the many volunteers and Auxiliary members, past and present Board Members, Management and our wonderful staff that we celebrate 60 years of providing aged care services to the Albury and District region. ‘Aged to Perfection’, Lutheran Aged Care looks forward to continuing to be a vibrant member of this community.