Home > Queensland Synod News > Warwick overnight respite a happy place

Warwick overnight respite a happy place

Tracey Watt and her husband Garry have nothing but praise for Blue Care Cooinda ─ a homelike residence that recently opened for short-term planned overnight respite in Warwick.

The couple regularly use the service as caregivers for their daughter Hannah, 13, who has a disability. Tracey said the overnight care meant they could relax, knowing Hannah was safe and well cared for by the staff at Blue Care.

“You have to have someone you trust 100 per cent to look after your child,” she said. “Hannah has grown up with the Blue Care staff in Warwick and all her friends go there.”

Hannah has been going to the Blue Care Killara day-care centre (next to Cooinda) for the past seven years. Many of the staff from day-care also work at Cooinda.

Because the cottage has the capacity to accommodate two people, one of Hannah’s friends from day-care often stays overnight too. Tracey said it gave Hannah a chance to do the simple things most families took for granted.

“Sleepovers are a big thing for most children including Hannah. She really looks forward to staying at Blue Care,” she said. “She gets a lot out of it and it makes us happy to see her happy.”

Tracey started using the overnight respite service when it opened seven weeks ago. She was referred to Cooinda, through day-care, although referrals can come from family and friends, hospitals, GPs and other health agencies.

“I hope people in Warwick come and use it because I think it is a very good service,” she said.

Blue Care Warwick Acting Respite Coordinator Ellen Woods said Cooinda, named after Indigenous word for “happy place”, provided overnight care seven days a week for two young people with a disability.

“Cooinda was specifically designed for people with a disability,” she said. “It has extra-wide corridors to allow for ease of wheelchair access, and an open-plan living area and spacious bathrooms.”  Soft furnishings, television sets, stereo systems, white goods and outdoor furniture also help create the centre’s homely atmosphere.

The service is funded by the State Government’s Disability Services Queensland department. Vacancies exist for eligible families. For more information phone Blue Care Warwick on 07 4661 3320.

Photo : UCA NEWS