The new Aged Care quality standards can help direct refurbishments at older residential aged care facilities, writes Seniors Living Sector Leader Emily Gilfillan in the latest issue of Australian Ageing Agenda.
Drawing on our recently completed project for MannaCare in Doncaster, Victoria, Emily explains how, together with the new standards, carefully considered architecture and interior design can ensure that residents are treated with dignity and respect, while being able to exercise their independence, autonomy and choice of personalised care options.
Our starting point was to return to the fundamentals of conventional residential design.
Partnering with MannaCare through a meticulous design and review process, the necessities of residential care design were then holistically integrated. The result is a friendly and positive environment where residents want to be and a place they could enjoy, that de-stigmatises dementia and lifts up the mood of residents, staff and visitors alike.
Just as no two elderly people are the same, each person living with dementia is unique.
MannaCare now provides individual – rather than centralised – living and dining areas, single rooms with private ensuites instead of double rooms and shared bathrooms, and an extensive expansion of the secure dementia-specific Banksia household to enable residents to wander freely and safely within the household, dementia sensory gardens and terrace areas. All areas are flexibly designed to allow modifications and adaptations over time in response to an individual’s needs.