(02) 4577 2800
(02) 4577 2627
1 Rum Corp Lane
WINDSOR NSW 2756
To be the choice for Hawkesbury families for aged care in an independent, not for profit environment and where the importance of dedicated professional care for residents is a priority.
To provide quality residential aged care and services to older people in a safe, comfortable, homelike and welcoming environment where each resident feels that they belong.
• Appreciation and acceptance of the wisdom and life experiences of our residents
• Respect and fair treatment of all within Fitzgerald
• Pride and enthusiasm in our service
• Strong communication with residents and their families
• Investment in learning, training and employee knowledge
• Any profit is returned to the facility for the benefit of the residents and their families
• Appreciation of the identity, culture and diversity of all of our residents, family members and staff
Our Board was established in November 1994. We are a not-for-profit community organisation and a registered charity. We meet monthly or as required to ensure we are identifying and meeting the needs of residents. Our objectives are to make decisions in the best interests of the residents.
Australian Aged Care Quality Agency:
Fitzgerald Memorial Aged Care Facility is fully accredited with the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency.
Here at Fitzgerald Aged Care, we have a very long and colourful history, with our origins starting back in 1818. Our facility today is in fact the last remaining part of the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society, which was formed in December 1818 at a public meeting. Self-help and philanthropy for the aged, sick and workless were the principles; voluntary work and charity the means.
“With the sole object of which shall be the support and relief by voluntary contributions of all real objects of charity in the Hawkesbury district” and “for the relief of such poor persons belonging to the district as through age, accident or infirmity are unable to support themselves.”
In the next year of 1819 Governor Macquarie recognised the organisation and granted land to the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society, which was used to run cattle and provide income. People donated cattle and these built up to be the major source of funds for the first 45 years. Other income came from donations, subscriptions, church collections and fines from police officers and magistrates.
At first the society provided food and clothing to the poor. In 1832 an asylum for the poor was established in a house.
In 1836 a two storey brick building was erected in Brabyn Street on a one acre grant, called “a home for the infirmed”
Richard Fitzgerald died
In 1840 and willed an annuity of 50 pounds which was carried on by his son Robert and grandson Robert Marsden. It was finally paid out
In 1875 as a lump sum of 1,200 pounds. This was invested and finally spent in 1946 when the society built a nursing home [Risbey House]
In 1846 the society was given the old convict hospital in Macquarie Street along with a grant of 20 pounds every year for care of the sick. This was used at first to house asylum inmates on the ground floor and the sick on the first floor.
The benevolent society and asylum continued to grow, with more medical staff, nurses, a superintendent and finally “Nightingale” trained nurse as matron.
In 1909 a major redevelopment of the hospital was opened. The patients were housed in the asylum for the refurbishment.
In 1914 the old asylum was demolished and a new wooden building put up. The minister at the opening suggested changing the name from asylum to “Home for the Infirm”.
In 1959 this was changed to Fitzgerald Memorial Hostel to honour Richard Fitzgerald who was the largest ever donor to the society. The hostel stayed the same with a large day room, kitchen and dining room and separate male and female dormitories. The hospital enlarged and added buildings as well as modernisation until 1986 when the hospital was completely taken over by the Department of Health.
In 1989 the Wentworth Area Health Service closed the hostel as a fire hazard. The hospital was also closed when a new private hospital was opened in Windsor.
The Hawkesbury Hospital crisis committee, which had been formed in 1984, applied to open a hostel. The site was purchased and the present hostel built with $400,000 from the sale of the old hostel, a bequest of $250,000 from Mr and Mrs Wymark and a $2,400,000 grant from the Commonwealth Department of Health.
In November 1994 the present Fitzgerald Memorial Hostel started with an official opening in 1995 this had 40 residents each with a separate room, ensuite and kitchenette.
The last major expansion was finished in 2006 when 8 more beds were added, extra office space, new kitchen, extra dining area, larger sitting room, quite room and laundry.
In 2009 the organisation changed its corporate structure from an Incorporated Association to a Company Limited by Guarantee and now operates under the name of Fitzgerald Aged Care Facility Limited.
A two year programme to upgrade all residents units and structurally improve common areas was completed in 2017 which cost over $2,800,000. Within the resident’s units, the built-in kitchenettes were replaced to comply with aged care standards for height, closures and access with all tiles replaced with single sheet splash backs.
Bathrooms were stripped to bare bricks with all fixtures and fittings replaced with new disability compliant fixtures, toilets repositioned to improve access for wheelchairs and commodes. Ceilings were modified to allow for the installation of heaters for the first time whilst lighting and ventilation was improved. Wall and floor tiles were replaced with welded vinyl sheeting with coloured panels highlighting toilet and sink areas to assist resident with dementia to navigate, improving their independence. Shower fittings are designed to increase flexibility, staff accessibility and resident independence whilst floor drainage has been improved to cope with incontinence episodes. Carpets were replaced with vinyl in the bedrooms and bathrooms which facilitated an increase in our ability to implement better infection control strategies to improve resident outcomes.
Common areas underwent significant reconstruction designed to improve natural light including the installation of large sky lights in the assisted dining area where privacy will be maintained with frosted glass rather than opaque blinds. The Hair Dressing Salon was re-equipped and moved to the south side of the building making way for a new centrally located café with indoor and outdoor seating. The library was moved to a more accessible position and upgraded to contemporary standards with a computer provided, internet access, Skype, audio books and e-reader facilities and swipe card automatic doors increased resident security. The installation also improved fire safety equipment.
The building was originally architecturally conceived as a conference centre and in many ways ideal for a low care level hostel of that time. The greater fragility of current residents prompted recognition of the need for major renovation, well beyond the scope of routine maintenance and furniture renewal.
We are currently working on plans to expand and increase our beds and services to include high dependency care and memory care.