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Australian aged care providers continue to offer ‘new approach to care’

The fit-out, furnishing and landscaping of aged care provider Benetas’ first purpose-built example of the industry-leading ‘new approach to care’ in Heidelberg, Victoria, is now underway following the completion of construction.

Construction of Benetas’ The Views at Heidelberg is now complete with fit-out
Construction of Benetas’ The Views at Heidelberg is now complete with fit-out

While the ‘new approach to care’ - featuring apartment style living and genuine home-like environments for residents - has been incorporated into a number of existing Benetas facilities, The Views at Heidelberg is the first to be designed ‘from the ground up’ to support the latest care concept.

Benetas Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sandra Hills says The Views and its 103 beds is a “prize addition” to Benetas’ residential aged care facilities and will see its first residents move in mid-October.

“We’re very proud of our leading approach to aged care which ensures the focus of care is around the individual resident, their needs and wants,” she explains.

“Recent research released by Flinders University in South Australia showed that the best approach to aged care is one where residents live in home-like environments and experience more flexible and personalised care.

“Residents of The Views at Heidelberg will have choice and control over their environment, allowing them to make independent decisions about their daily routine, supported by a dedicated personal carer in each apartment.”

Each of the apartments in the new development will comprise of eight bedrooms and private ensuites, fully functioning kitchen, dining, lounge and living areas, as well as access to a cafe, sports bar, art and craft room, hairdressing salon, cinema, library lounge and wellness centre.

A number of other new aged care, retirement living and dementia care accommodation styles and care models have also been announced over the past 12 months in an effort to provide older Australians with better living options and health and wellbeing outcomes.

Some of the most notable housing, accommodation and care models include NewDirection Care’s Microtown in Queensland, and the nation’s first suburban dementia village in Tasmania.

NewDirection Care Founder and CEO Natasha Chadwick says the need for residential care communities, like their Microtown, in Australia is “becoming more apparent”.

“Our residential care community in Bellmere is pioneering and shattering the mindset of a traditional aged care facility,” she says.

“Having worked in the aged care industry for two decades, I realised that incremental improvements were no longer enough.

“We need to radically rethink how we look after the elderly and those living with dementia - the current traditional aged care model is no longer relevant in the world we live in today.”

The plans for the first dementia village in Australia, which is set for development in Tasmania, have also been warmly received by the aged care industry and consumers right across the nation for its groundbreaking concept.

The concept, which features aspects of a ‘typical Tasmanian cul-de-sac streetscape’ that allows residents to feel at home and wander freely, draws on a range of international best practice models like the dementia village of De Hogeweyk in the Netherlands which shows residents to live longer, eat better and even take fewer medications.

Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has shared his support of the new care models, saying that as the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, he is “always encouraging innovation in models of care.”

“One of the things that impresses me most about the aged care industry is the constant innovation in care and accommodation that I witness,” he says.

“A good example of this is NewDirection Care at Bellmere in Queensland which offers a new style of care [and] the soon-to-open Korongee dementia village in Glenorchy.”

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