Ageing-in-place: new $30 million Carlingford centre
A new and innovative aged care facility which will serve the growing needs of senior residents in Sydney’s north-west was officially opened on March 1 by the CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev. Dr Keith Garner.
He was joined at the plaque unveiling ceremony by the Premier of New South Wales Barry O’Farrell and Mrs Hilary Jones, the daughter of the late Rev. Dr Frank Rayward, who was the Superintendent of Wesley Mission from 1938 to 1957 and whose name has been given to the new Wesley Mission centre.
The $30 million Wesley Rayward Carlingford is a state-of-the-art, ageing-in-place facility with a purpose-built dementia care unit development. The centre provides a seamless transition in care as the needs of residents change over time.
More than 100 staff, volunteers and newly arrived residents and their families attended the opening along with the Premier, the Federal Member for Bennelong, John Alexander, New South Wales Attorney General and Minister for Justice and State Member for Epping, Greg Smith, State Member for Castle Hill, Dominic Perrottet, and the Hon. Treasurer of Wesley Mission, Mark Scott.
The centre includes 74 contemporary boutique rooms, including the 14 room dementia-specific unit and an additional 16 independent living units, which are an extension to the existing 204 units at Alan Walker Village.
It is one of the most significant aged care developments in Sydney’s north-west. It is the result of years of planning.
Peace of mind
“There are numerous residential care facilities within a 20 kilometre radius of Carlingford but Wesley Rayward is unique because it is a purpose-built, specialised care facility designed to meet the ageing-in-place needs of our community with a ‘boutique’ resort/style residence that is large enough to be well-equipped and small enough to enable us to serve residents and their families while providing peace of mind,” Dr Garner said.
“While the 2010 Intergenerational Report projection of 35.9 million Australians by 2050 created tremendous public debate, Wesley Mission was already well aware that the age distribution of our population was already changing — and continues to change — dramatically. The report predicts that the proportion of Australians over 65 will grow to more than 20 per cent of the population by 2050.
“The demographic impact of increased lifespan will raise this proportion of the population. Longevity also brings patterns of disease, increasing demand for complex issues associated with dementia, diabetes and other diseases as well as geriatric and palliative care.
“The population needing aged care service will become increasingly diverse and characterised by not only the demands of dealing with a greater incidence of dementia but cultural diversity and a greater number of frail aged couples.
“Wesley Rayward Carlingford is a pro-active response to this evolving and varied social context.”
Dr Garner said Wesley Mission had identified a growing demand for higher quality services. Older people, he said, had expressed a strong desire to preserve their sense of self, to maintain their independence, retain control and exercise choice.
“These expectations will impact not just for the type of aged care services demanded but also for the way they are delivered,” Dr Garner said.
“By providing a purpose built ‘boutique’ ageing in place residence we give residents, their family/carers the reassurance that regardless of their changing level of care need, their family member will be looked after with dignity and respect in a quality facility with caring professionals.
“Our investment in the building of new properties, and the retirement and refurbishment of existing properties, is a demonstration of Wesley Mission’s commitment to innovation and clear vision and working understanding of what the future demands.
“At Wesley Mission we believe that every life matters and that people should have the opportunity to age in place with the dignity, respect and flexibility that such a journey requires.”
Wesley Rayward residents can expect greater choice and flexibility in their aged care services in relation to:
- the location, types and quality of accommodation;
- the option available to pay for accommodation and for care services (periodic or lump sum) and;
- choice of a “menu of services” options for the standard of care which providers offer to care recipients to meet their specific needs and preference for culturally appropriate choices, and the option to purchase additional services at their own expense.
Interactive communications and … a typewriter
All rooms offer beautifully appointed, spacious and private, single accommodation. Each room has its own en-suite, emergency call button, hi-lo adjustable bed and plasma television. The facility is fully air conditioned with an interactive communications system via residents’ television screens.
The new facility has the light, airy appearance and spaciousness of a hotel/resort type facility with quality personnel, high tech monitoring and 24-hour nursing care.
“Wesley Rayward offers all residents facilities that provide the opportunity to engage and socialise with others, and carry out their normal daily activities to the best of their physical ability,” Dr Garner said. “This is underpinned with meaningful chaplaincy support.”
Activities include games, crafts, concerts, movie afternoons and bus trips. The facilities include a hairdressing salon, internet café, cinema, kiosk, coffee shop, therapy rooms for allied health professionals, chapel and lounge and relaxation areas to mingle with other residents.
The 14-bed dementia unit is designed to provide additional support and dignity to those residents with this need for specialised care. The state-of-the-art unit is safe and secure to ensure residents do not come to harm or become lost. Specially appointed staff will be experienced in responding to those with dementia.
The unit includes a purpose designed indoor area and outdoor courtyard, which enables activities that support those with dementia to experience a better quality of life.
The dementia courtyard includes items which people will find familiar, comfortable and reassuring: unencumbered circular pathways, an immobilised car on blocks, clothes hoist and laundry, raised garden bed and potting shed, and a bus stop and post box.
The indoors area includes a fireplace and hearth and retro style working kitchen, with adjustable bench heights and instead of a computer there’s a smart looking typewriter.