RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village (Glenwood Gardens) opens to visitors

STAFF AND FRIENDS: Heather Nicholls (regional general manager), Leah McCarney (general manager), Craig Bennett (general manager of Council), George Muckenschnabel (maintenance supervisor), Gail Crowhurst (lifestyle officer), Etzel Knorles (project manager), Rosemary Arena (Craig Bennett's partner), and Mayor Carol Sparks. Photo: Kasey Elliott.
STAFF AND FRIENDS: Heather Nicholls (regional general manager), Leah McCarney (general manager), Craig Bennett (general manager of Council), George Muckenschnabel (maintenance supervisor), Gail Crowhurst (lifestyle officer), Etzel Knorles (project manager), Rosemary Arena (Craig Bennett's partner), and Mayor Carol Sparks. Photo: Kasey Elliott.

The RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village - better known locally as Glenwood Gardens - was open on Thursday for visitors to see the retirement village and aged care home.

"It was a day to showcase what we can do," acting general manager Leah McCarney said. "We wanted to invite members of the public - people looking at potentially moving into an age-care facility - to look at our village, and get a feel for how we live here."

The Royal Freemasons' Benevolent Institution has 22 facilities across NSW and the ACT, Ms McCarney said. Each facility has an an annual open day - but the Glen Innes one was more significant.

"It was a way to showcase the final results of our recent $7 million extension and upgrade," Ms McCarney said.

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Eleven new rooms have been added, and existing rooms extensively renovated. The facility has a new reception area, a spa room, and a new activities centre. Work started in April 2018, and finished in July.

Around 60 people came, Ms McCarney estimates. Some have already requested private interviews. Others are interested at moving into the independent living units attached to the facility.

While there is no age limit, residents need an aged care assessment (conducted by a team in Armidale) and an income and assets assessment test (through Centrelink). Once these are done, people can move in.

The village has 51 residents. "Most people here are pensioners; they tend to be over a certain age, but they don't have to be," Ms McCarney said.

A lot of visitors, she said, hadn't realised that the facility cooked all its food fresh on-site; many assumed that, like in public hospitals, meals came from a centralised kitchen. Glenwood also has a coffee shop, open to the general public.

"This really is a home, and everything here is done locally," Ms McCarney said. "We take very good care of our residents."

The RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village (Glenwood Gardens) is at 175 Lambeth Street, Glen Innes. For more information, visit https://rfbi.com.au/retirement-villages/glen-innes/, or call 5733 1000.