The latest residential care facility to open in western Sydney is setting a new standard for technology and innovation to support residents’ safety and wellbeing.

The John Edmondson VC Gardens centre, owned by RSL LifeCare was officially opened by the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM last week.

“Technology will never replace the dedication and service of trusted care and health professionals but it can support them to provide even better and more efficient care,” Minister Wyatt said.

“I would encourage the consideration of useful innovations like these across our aged care sector.”

The centre includes:

  • Bedroom laser beam, floor sensor and trip light technology to alert staff
  • Sensors that monitor and report on residents’ locations
  • A smart medication management system to maximise medication safety
  • Access to health specialists through video conferencing
  • A virtual reality social program providing animal therapy through a friendly robotic pet called Seals

“As we age, it can be hard to maintain our social connections, and that’s not good for our mental or physical wellbeing,” Minister Wyatt said.

“RSL LifeCare recognises this and works to ensure all of their residents are welcome members of a community, founded on respect, with connections to our armed forces.”

The new centre which provides high and low care for 64 residents and is described by RSL LifeCare as “an elegant, comfortable and secure environment. Accommodation includes private rooms with ensuite with sun-drenched terraces and gardens, two bright and spacious internal courtyards as well as an aviary and aquarium which can be viewed from the dining and lounge area. This peaceful setting provides a number of different entertaining areas – from larger settings for sharing time with family and friends to smaller areas for quiet independence.”

The John Edmondson VC Gardens centre is decorated with military memorabilia and is named after World War 2 hero John Hurst Edmondson, who grew up in the Liverpool area and lived there until he enlisted.

Corporal Edmondson was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for outstanding bravery and service during the siege of Tobruk in North Africa in 1941.

Despite being severely wounded during an attack by the Germans on the night of 13 April 1941, Edmondson continued fighting and saved the life of his commanding officer.

The Germans were repelled, but Edmondson died before dawn.

Mr Wyatt said every older Australian had a compelling life story, including drama, happiness and sadness, with or without war service.

RSL LifeCare is a public company limited by guarantee, controlled by RSL NSW with the Directors appointed by RSL NSW. It operates 24 residential care facilities in NSW and the ACT, 22 retirement villages and offers home care services.

In 2014 it extended its care for older veterans to young veterans from recent campaigns (Afghanistan, East Timor and Iraq) who are homeless through Homes for Heroes service.