IT'S been eight years in the making, but earlier this month the South West Italo-Australian Association officially opened its much-needed 60-bed high-care aged-care facility in Restwell Road, Bossley Park.
The association used to have 41 self-care villas and a facility of 53 low-care beds before it applied for and received from the federal government another 60 bed licences for the new facility.
Chief executive Bruce Thornthwaite said the association focused on the planning soon after getting the licences and started building last year.
The $10 million facility has 20 high-care beds, 30 low care-beds and 10 beds in the special-care unit for any elderly with dementia or behaviour problems.
"It's a great achievement for the community, especially the south-west Italian community," Mr Thornthwaite said.
Politicians, including McMahon MP Chris Bowen, Cabramatta MP Nick Lalich and Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan, attended the official opening.
Twenty-five people have already been admitted to the new facility and another 20 will be admitted over the next month.
The new facility also brings employment to the area with 80 new positions.
So far 40 new staff have started and the other 40 staff members will join in the coming weeks.
Mr Thornthwaite said the facility was not restricted to people of Italian origin, but said about 70 per cent of the new patients were Italian migrants.
"We take everybody," he said.
Mr Thornthwaite said donations were still appreciated to help cover the cost of the new facility and that volunteers were still needed to help with a variety of jobs, including reading to the residents.
Details: To make a donation to the new facility or find out about becoming a volunteer, contact Bruce Thornthwaite on 8786 1222 or email email@example.com.