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Opal Aged Care reimagines residential aged care in Sydney's inner west

Opal Aged Care unveiled the future of residential aged care today with the official opening of its state-of-the-art Cardinal Freeman home at Ashfield in Sydney's inner west.

The 133-bed residential aged care home was opened by National Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia, Ita Buttrose, AO, OBE, following a $33 million investment. Opal plans to take the lead in reimagining aged care, with a focus on restorative care, rehabilitation services and improved customer choice.

Known for her active leadership in promoting aged care reform, Ms Buttrose says “We all know the positive impact that good quality care can have on people’s lives, and unfortunately, to date, there have been too many examples of residential aged care not meeting the needs of ageing Australians”.

“With the opening of Opal Cardinal Freeman today, I can see the progress being made and I look forward to Opal delivering what they promise in raising the standards of residential aged care”.

In 2014, Opal Aged Care and Stockland’s Retirement Living business formed a strategic partnership to provide innovative living solutions for older Australian’s by offering a ‘continuum of care’ with retirement living and residential aged care located on one site.

Opal Aged Care Managing Director, Gary Barnier said “The idea around ‘continuum of care’ is to give people the chance to live in their community for as long as they choose. Aged care should not been seen as a one way street. Cardinal Freeman in Ashfield will be one of the first residential aged care homes to offer rehabilitation, reablement services and restorative care, as well as high quality permanent care. This means we can help people stay in their homes longer. That is a complete reimagining of residential aged care”.

The Opal Cardinal Freeman home will showcase aged care innovation, offering customers more choice in care, services and lifestyle activities, all supported by a dedicated concierge service. This includes a state-of-the-art virtual reality program specific to aged care, along with a music therapy program, and a dedicated memory support unit that will provide specialist care for people living with dementia. There will also be the opportunity for residents to access an aged care travel agency and physiotherapy classes aimed at improving wellness.

Mr Barnier says “As one of Australia’s largest aged care providers, we need to take on the challenge of raising the standard of aged care in this country. We want people to see aged care as part of their communities’ health care system, not the last stop in their life. We will work hard to come up with better experiences for our residents and innovative new offerings that will give them the quality of life they expect and deserve. This home will be used as an innovation hub for the rest of our network of 71 homes, and we are proud to be delivering this to the residents of Ashfield first.”

Opal Cardinal Freeman is holding a Community Open Day on Saturday, 23 July, from 10am – 2pm, and is inviting people to come and tour the home. First residents move in from Tuesday 26 July 2016.

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