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New home for Villa Maria Centre, same care and love

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Villa Maria Centre at Eastern Heights might have a brand new look on the outside, but long-term carer Ana Wegener offers the traditional care and love that keeps the spirit of the home as wonderful as it ever was.

Ana Wegener is approaching her ninth year of service in the aged care home, alongside celebrating a personal milestone in May - with 77 candles gracing this year’s birthday cake.

Originally born in the Philippines, Ana made her way to Australia in 1989, seeking bigger and better opportunities in which she could pursue her desire to give back to the community.

“I always wanted to be a nurse, but we just don’t have that kind of opportunity in the Philippines,” she says.

“When I came to Australia, that’s when I started nursing, and it’s something I’ve loved from the moment I started.”

Despite Ana’s long commitment to work force, exceeding the average retirement age by 12 years, she says she’s not looking to give up work just yet.

“I think I’ll continue working until my body gives up!” she laughs.

Ana attributes her good health to a continued healthy lifestyle regime, namely consuming “lots of green veggies”.

She has now dropped her working hours to only a few days per fortnight, but says despite the minimal hours, she feels “truly inspired” by the aged care environment.

“Villa Maria Centre is really such a lovely home. The staff and the residents have made it so wonderful that I just don’t want to leave.”

With the opening of the new Villa Maria Eastern Heights just around the corner in early February, Ana says she’s excited to see the new facilities and the abundance of new residents joining them.

“We’re now opening the Villa Maria doors to men, as well as women,” she says, a change she explains from the original home that provided residence to women only.

The new Villa Maria Centre also features dementia-specific care, an onsite café, hairdressing and beauty salon, amongst other life-enriching spaces for all residents.

“It’s going to be so wonderful to have such a variety of people living with us – it will be a whole new home, with the same love and care as the old home,” she says.

The newly built Villa Maria Centre Eastern Heights will be opening its doors to the public on Saturday, 3rd February and current residents will be moving into their new rooms later that week.

Accommodation places for the new service are still available. Enquiries can be made by contacting 1300 951 501 or on the Villa Maria Open Day at 35 Robertson Road, Eastern Heights, QLD 4305.