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Community consultation at heart of new aged care home

Community wants, needs and necessities have been at the heart of design and development plans of a brand new residential aged care facility in Sydney.

The exterior of the new SummitCare residential aged care home in Sydney (Source: SummitCare)
The exterior of the new SummitCare residential aged care home in Sydney (Source: SummitCare)

The $61 million SummitCare home in Baulkham Hills, officially opened on 22 November by Member of Parliament Christopher Pyne, is the tenth centre in the SummitCare aged care portfolio and offers what SummitCare are calling a “unique and lovely combination of homelike warmth and serenity coupled with the luxurious elements of a five star hotel”.

SummitCare Director Peter Wohl says the”state-of-the-art” facility was developed together with the local community, architects and builders in order to design and deliver an “enviable aged care lifestyle like no other”.

“SummitCare Baulkham Hills brings to life everything residents and families could wish for in a home,” plus the best in experienced service and professional care,” he says.

“It was the local community of Baulkham Hills who told us what they wanted in this new home, during extensive consultation.

“We spoke with them throughout the design and master planning phase and right through the 18-month build to ensure we were creating the perfect home and community for them.

“And the end result is stunning, looking more like an upmarket hotel than a traditional residential aged care home.”

The new community offers flexible living spaces, ranging from single suites with ensuite bathrooms through to superior suites with kitchenettes and living areas where couples can reside together, with guest and family rooms available for overnight stays.

Other features include  a beauty salon, hairdresser, café, private dining rooms for residents to host guests, wellness spaces and a media room. The exterior landscape offers a variety of gardens and terraces, a children’s play area, putt-putt golf facilities, an aviary, a rooftop terrace to enjoy balmy evenings, a vegetable garden and a men’s shed.

These new design features reflect the ‘person-centred’ approach which SummitCare Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Payne says is marking a significant change in aged care.

“By creating these smaller hubs residents and their families can foster meaningful relationships with other families and feel connected,” she says.

“It also means residents can refer to their new home as Unit or Suite 1, The Grove, 5 Bass Drive, which is a much more respectful and dignified address than, say, Room 1, Ward or Wing A.”

Ms Payne says the opening of Baulkham Hills was a “landmark event” in the organisation’s history.

“There is no doubt this will be a gorgeous home for so many people, where SummitCare can support the wellbeing of each individual,” she says.

“Our residents can choose how they want to live their life, and our professional and caring team will ensure they are supported every step of the way.

“Not only do we have a clinical team on site around the clock but we also offer behavioural support programs, nutritional and health-filled meals from our executive chef, a wonderful menu of activities for the entire community to enjoy - and even the ability for residents to bring pets to live with them.”

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