HammondCare will open a 30-bed specialist dementia care home, designed according to internationally recognised cottage model principles, next to its Strathearn House residential aged care home at Gundy Rd, Scone in the Upper Hunter Shire NSW.
The completion of the $14 million project means all HammondCare’s Strathearn House and Strathearn Village residential care services can be consolidated at the Gundy Rd site for the first time.
The new dementia care home comprises two interconnected cottages each offering 15 single rooms with ensuites, large purposeful living areas, a domestic kitchen providing freshly cooked meals and access to outdoor space.
The cottages, named Dartbrook and Segenhoe after Hunter Valley regions, have been designed to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia based on HammondCare’s more than 25 years of experience as a dementia care leader.
HammondCare, one of Australia’s most innovative health and aged care providers, is a major Scone employer with about 180 staff. This includes 140 in residential aged care roles plus another 40 staff with HammondCare At Home’s Scone regional office.
HammondCare Chief Executive Officer Mike Baird said the investment in the dementia care home demonstrated HammondCare’s commitment to Scone and the surrounding region.
“HammondCare is delighted to be able to provide the highest quality aged care to support residents with complex needs in the Upper Hunter,” Mr Baird said.
“These new dementia-specific cottages are designed based on evidence-based principles to promote choice, minimise confusion and maximise independence for people living with dementia.”
The 30 new beds add to the 64 beds already available in Strathearn House, which opened more than five years ago.
Included in the project is a new community building that opened earlier this year, including a community centre named Rouchel for independent living residents, a training room named Omadale and an administration office.
There is a new commercial laundry and a landscaped “family garden” outdoor space.
Elsewhere on the Gundy Rd site, HammondCare is expanding its present nine HammondGrove Independent Living Units with three more units.
The completion of the new accommodation enables HammondCare to retire the 1980s Strathearn Village building on Stafford St. HammondCare leased the building from the Hunter New England Local Health District. There will be no job losses resulting from the relocation.
HammondCare’s Strathearn House Residential Manager Caitlyn Easey said consultations have been ongoing with residents and their families as well as staff and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition.
“I am really excited at the prospect of all residents coming together at one site in beautiful, contemporary care surroundings,” Mrs Easey said.
Residents from Strathearn Village had been to Strathearn House on bus trips to inspect their new accommodation and meet Strathearn House residents over morning and afternoon teas.
“It has been great to see the joy on the faces of Strathearn Village residents during their visits where they saw their new home,” she said.
Mrs Easey said bringing all residential care staff together at one site would provide an opportunity for more collaboration for the benefit of residents.