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Blue Care residents return home

The 100-plus residents of Blue Care Townsville Garden Settlement Aged Care Facility returned home today, after spending three nights in the evacuation centre at Ignatius Park College.

Blue Care Residential Services Director Richard Olley said a major clean up of the facility at Pallarenda is underway, involving army personnel, Blue Care staff and volunteers.

“The army descended on the site at first light this morning to clean up the grounds and the common areas in readiness for the residents return home and we are very grateful,” Mr Olley said. “We were fortunate the building received only minor damage and with Blue Care staff and volunteers busily cleaning up inside, residents will be sure to have a welcome return home.

“A relief support team, made up of senior managers, personal carers, nurses and support staff will arrive today to relieve Blue Care staff members who have been working non-stop in providing care to residents outside their normal environment.

“We expect all residents will be comfortably back in their rooms by late this afternoon and we thank everyone who has helped support us on this quest – it has been overwhelming.”

Mr Olley said there would be a lot of tired staff today, and it was through assistance from the Townsville Police that the support team from Brisbane managed to get a flight to Townsville today instead of tomorrow.

“This would have to be one of the biggest evacuations Blue Care has seen in recent times and the brilliant team work, headed by Blue Care North Queensland Residential Care Manager Sandra Glaister, has been outstanding,” Mr Olley continued. “Our hats go off to staff and residents who handled this disaster so admirably.”

Elsewhere in the region, flood waters have isolated Blue Care Bluehaven Aged Care Facility at Ingham, however all residents and staff are safe and well with generator power, plenty of food, water and medical supplies.

Blue Care’s Community Care services in Ayr and Home Hill will return to normal from Monday. Damage to Community Care centres in Townsville, Tully and Innisfail are still being assessed as access returns to those sites.