A Flinders University study found that clustered, home-like models of residential aged care led to better quality of life for residents at a comparable cost. The study found that residents were less likely to be admitted to hospital emergency and 52% less likely to be prescribed potentially inappropriate medication. As an Aged Care Placement Consultant I am always interested in innovations in residential aged care.
The Minister for Aged Care, the Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, MP, recently visited a facility, NewDirection Care in Bellmere, Queensland, which not only has clustered houses but is a microtown™. He described the residences as “Aged Care that is totally person-centred, with seven people per house with a care companion who works with each home’s resident.”
The Minister toured the microtown™, which resembles any small town in Australia with a corner store, café, cinema, hair salon, barber shop, music room, wellness centre, dental and GP facilities. This alternative model focusses on non-institutionalised schedules, independence, interaction, lifestyle options and freedom. The Minister for Aged Care decided to see the facility first hand, having heard it highly praised.
The facility features elegant seven-bedroom homes designed and styled by Shaynna Blaze. Each bedroom has an ensuite and spacious built-ins. The open plan kitchen is functional and showcases the latest in appliances. The family dining room, cosy sitting rooms and private gardens create a family home atmosphere.
Each home is designed with a unique style, be it country living, modern urban, traditional or progressive, featuring the finest details.
To house like-minded residents together the aged care facility uses a cutting edge profiling tool that draws out an individual’s social world view and personality traits. Residents are placed in houses according to who they are as individuals and their lifestyle and not according to their cognitive diagnosis.Registered Nurses are on call 24/7 to make private visits to the homes and the onsite clinic provides professional services such as Doctors, Dentists, Podiatrists and Massage Therapists.
With the demand for aged care increasing rapidly, in my role as an Aged Care Placement Consultant I think it’s great to see new models like this emerging.