Gerard and Catherine Polaschek at Cedarbrook.
Gerard and Catherine Polaschek at Cedarbrook. Carinity Cedarbrook

Aged care community the first to introduce horses and cattle

"THERE'S something about the outside of a horse, that is good for the inside of man,"

In this brief phrase, Sir Winston Churchill summed up the special difference an animal can make in your life.

We are used to hearing of the benefits of having dogs and cats, but in this case the spotlight is on horses and cattle. This month, Australia's first aged-care community incorporating a horse and cattle farm was officially opened by Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt on the Gold Coast.

The $30-million Carinity Cedarbrook community at Mudgeeraba made a pioneering agreement with The Southport School (TSS), to use its 31-hectare site for its Science Agricultural Department Operations.

Carinity CEO Jon Campbell said he saw residents and students creating an intergenerational bridge bringing together students and elderly residents participating in joint curriculum and volunteering initiatives.

"We believe the presence of horses and cattle, the farming greenery and interaction with students in residential aged care will protect against the decline in mental wellbeing, Mr Campbell said.

He said the ultimate vision was to engage the local community and utilise our vacant land for creating social value and enterprise.

"Over time we see the farm evolving to engage residents in beekeeping and honey production and other activities such as an organic community garden," Mr Campbell says.

  • Carinity, a not-for-profit outreach of Queensland Baptists, is one of Australia's leading aged care and retirement community providers. Its Cedarbrook development delivers a state-of-the-art 96-suite, aged-care community, utilising sustainable building features such as energy-saving air conditioner systems, LED lighting and 280 solar panels generating 75.6KW of energy (equating the use of around 12 typical houses).
  • In the coming years Cedarbrook plans to expand to include a $25-million retirement community of 88 two and three-bedroom retirement villas and 20 assisted-living units. The development provides vital infrastructure for the Gold Coast's growing aging population, as well as employment opportunities in the aged-care sector.
  • Cedarbrook is located close to Mosaic Baptist Church, Mudgeeraba Showground and community groups including woodworkers, car enthusiasts and potters. "Our development meets the demand for high-quality retirement and aged care options in the area. There will be no shortage of activities to keep people healthy and socially connected," Mr Campbell says.

Minister Wyatt says Carinity is "showing the way to the future of aged care" with its plans for Cedarbrook. 

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