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Recognition … The staff of Cheviot Rest Home, with Sue Coleman at right. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Cheviot is home to the best little rest-home in the South Island.

For the fifth year in a row, Cheviot Rest Home has won the Aged Advisor Best Aged Care Facility up to 40 beds.

It is the only facility in New Zealand to achieve this milestone.

Winners of this People’s Choice Award competition are based on independent reviews and opinions.

Sue Coleman and her husband, Steve, have owned the home for 20 years.

Sue says the recipe for success for the 14-bed home is simple. “We are a small, intimate and personalised rest-home, and the staffing is stable, local and know all the residents really well.”

Family and visitors are given a form to fill out as they leave, seeking a frank assessment of what the service is like at the home. “They don’t give the form to me. They fill it in and send it straight back to Aged Advisor in Christchurch, so they can be really honest about what they are saying.”

It has 12 trained and qualified staff, with a registered nurse available 24/7.

Although the rest-home is small, it is homely and offers home-cooked meals with vegetables from its own garden.

Sue says owning a small home has many positives, but there are also some downsides, such as all the rules, regulations and compliance involved.

However, on the positive side, the home enables locals to remain in their community and continue to take part in activities and organisations in the town.

“Just because they are here doesn’t stop them from being part of their community.” But knowing residents so well can be difficult when one passes away. “It leaves a huge hole because you have got to know them so well and their family as well.”