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An aged care home – on a horse and cattle farm? Yes, it’s real


An Australian-first, the $30 million 96-bed Carinity Cedarbrook facility was opened last week at Mudgeeraba on Queensland’s Gold Coast, bringing together aged care accommodation with hands-on farming.

Carinity’s new Cedarbrook facility at Mudgeeraba. Credit: Carinity

How did it come about?

The home is part of a new partnership with boy’s school The Southport School which uses Carinity’s 31-hectare site for its science and agriculture classes.

Residents will be encouraged to interact with both the students and animals including cows and horses.

Over time, the not-for-profit village and aged care provider hopes to expand the farm so residents can also take part in other activities such as beekeeping and community gardening.

Animals proven to benefit residents

A number of studies have already shown that pet therapy can reduce tension, fatigue and confusion and encourage aged care residents to be more active and social, but Carinity says this new initiative takes it to the next level.

They also plan to build an 88-unit retirement village and 20 assisted living units on the site in the coming years.

Not all the residents are fans of their new animal companions. Resident Peter Harper, 83, told the ABC:

“It gives a lovely country style atmosphere, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “The fact that the horses do sweet bugger all is besides the point really.”

But growing up in the country, I quite like the idea of retiring to a farm. Good work Carinity.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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