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Aged care facility adapts to changes in the sector

SPONSORED STORY - Not-for-profit nursing home and independent living village, Martin Luther Homes, is showing that they can change with the times as more older Australians take on their right of choice.

Martin Luther Homes are adapting a new model of care for their aged care residents (Source: Martin Luther Homes)
Martin Luther Homes are adapting a new model of care for their aged care residents (Source: Martin Luther Homes)

Nestled in the foothills of Victoria’s Dandenong Mountains, Martin Luther Homes is offering a variety of accommodation options – including brand new aged care apartments – especially for the growing older population who are choosing to stay at home longer in fear of downsizing.

Chief Executive Officer of Martin Luther Homes, Birgit Goetz says that not only are older Australians staying at home longer, life expectancy is advancing and the move into aged care is occurring later.

“We are finding that a lot of older Australians are coming into aged care a lot later because they are choosing to stay in their homes longer,” she says.

“By staying longer and making the move later, quite often these older people are impacting on their quality of life.”

The Housing Decisions of Older Australians Report released in late 2015 by the government’s Productivity Commission reflects what Martin Luther Homes has seen, recording that ‘those who enter aged care do so later in life...and generally when they become completely incapable of looking after their own health and safety’.

“This is driven by their wish to live as independent as possible,” Ms Goetz says.

“They do not wish to share a room or even live in a single bedroom and this is something that we are hearing and we’ve been making changes to cater for this growing choice.”

In response, Martin Luther Homes has adapted a new model of aged care, now offering the option of brand new aged care living in the form of one or two-bedroom apartments - which are spacious and offer gourmet kitchens, private balconies, and many more luxuries to make life comfortable – with the two-bedroom apartments coming with a second ensuite.

“Martin Luther Homes has recognised the need to adapt to older people’s needs and wants and so we are offering this new model for care,” Ms Goetz says.

“In 80 plus square metre apartments, we can provide care and assistance without people having to move into a traditional aged care room and couples are able to remain living together just like they want.”

Lydia Beck is one resident who has moved into one of the apartments and enjoys not only the space and freedom, but also the safety and security the aged care living option offers.

“The benefits are amazing, the apartments are a good size, and I still feel like I am at home,” Ms Beck says.

These feelings have also been echoed by husband and wife Mr and Mrs Lohmeyer who moved into an apartment when they realised they needed care but did not want to be separated.

“Here we can live together, age together and be cared for together – exactly as we have always dreamed of,” Mrs Lohmeyer says.

Martin Luther Homes’ Ms Goetz says that the facility is excited to be able to cater to the new group of older Australians who are really making the most of the choice they now have for retirement and aged care living.

“We built the apartments because more people wanted the space and the feeling of home in aged care.  Couples do not want to be separated – people age together these days.

“The apartments are already proving very popular because of the choice and aged care lifestyle they are offering.

“Apartment residents still have access to all the necessary aged care services such as 24/7 call services, communal facilities, facility transport etc. making it really a home away from home.”

More information on Martin Luther Homes’ new aged care apartments is now available online or by calling 03 9760 2100.

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