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Could this new ‘microtown’ be the future of Australian aged care?

Monday, May 7, 2018   Care

 

A new town is being built in Queensland – well, a microtown, at least.

The world’s first residential aged care community of its kind, NewDirection Care will have all the amenities of a traditional town, including a barber shop, corner store, gym, spa and cinema. The innovative vision of founder and chief executive Natasha Chadwick, the facility in Bellmere – a one hour drive from Brisbane – stands to change the way Australians think about top-quality aged care.

Introducing: the NewDirection Care model

NewDirection Care is being built to meet the needs of Australia’s rapidly ageing population, which is projected to double by 2057, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

AIHW research also highlights something else about elderly Australians: they’re extremely autonomous. In 2013-14, 76 per cent of older Australians owned their own homes and 41 per cent said they were sufficiently active.

NewDirection Care offers a unique environment that is safe, secure and highly independent.

That’s where a community like NewDirection Care at Bellmere comes in. Built for the elderly and those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs, NewDirection Care offers a unique environment that is safe, secure and highly independent.

“I spent a lot of time looking at the things that work and the things that make people happy and that’s how I created this model at NewDirection Care,” explains Chadwick.

And her dedication is evident. Unlike traditional nursing homes and aged care facilities where residents live in one large building with shared common areas, seniors at NewDirection Care live in seven bedroom homes, complete with open-plan kitchens, laundry rooms, a family style dining room and comfortable sitting area.

Residents at NewDirection Care will have access to all of the general and specialised treatments they would at a traditional facility. The village includes a wellness centre offering:

  • GP checkups,
  • Dental visits,
  • Therapeutic massage,
  • Physio.

What can aged care providers learn from the NewDirection Care approach? 

More than ever before, Australians want to age in place. As of December 2017, there were over 100,000 older people in the national queue for the Home Care Packages Program, according to the Department of Health.

With a wait list this long, home care won’t be an option for everyone. There is an opportunity, however, for traditional residential facilities to bridge the gap by providing a more independent, home-like experience.

The three tenets of NewDirection Care’s model are:

  1. Independence and freedom,
  2. Individual preferences,
  3. Social interaction.

How could you foster each of these more closely in your facility? Changes can be as simple as providing certain kitchen appliances in each room or adding more events to your community’s social calendar.

Making significant change starts with the right providers. If you want to ensure everyone in your facility will treat your residents with dignity and respect, be sure to work with trained, specialised contractors, including your cleaning company.

At ACW Care, our team is highly trained in working with the elderly and is always up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Contact us today to learn more.