Innovative cottage-style dementia care planned for South Australia’s Repat Health Precinct

HammondCare Repat site plan - Daw Park South Australia

The design of South Australia’s first cottage-style care home to cater for people living with dementia at the Repat Health Precinct in the Adelaide suburb of Daw Park has been revealed.


HammondCare, one of Australia’s leading health and aged care providers, and the State Government of South Australia together announced details of the new neighbourhood of cottages for 70 residents expected to open in early 2023.

HammondCare Chief Executive Mike Baird was joined by Premier Steven Marshall and Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade for the unveiling of the Dementia Care Facility design featuring single-level cottages that will cater for people living with varying levels of severity of symptoms and behaviours.

Mr Baird said HammondCare was pleased to partner with SA Health to create a centre of dementia care excellence, designed according to international best practice, that will provide dignity and quality of life to some of the state’s most vulnerable people.

“This aged care home at the Repat Health Precinct is in line with HammondCare’s mission as an independent Christian charity to improve the quality of life for people in need,” Mr Baird said.

The design lodged with the State Commission Assessment Panel includes:

• 6 bungalow-style cottages for 9-15 residents, built around a Central Park and Plaza, with good access to private and public outdoor areas.
• 2 cottages, each offering 9 places, will be specialist dementia care units – funded by the Commonwealth and SA Health — linked to an 11-place step-down cottage.
• Community facilities including a general store, café, hairdresser, and studio. 
• Ancillary administration and back of house and staff facilities.
• Adaptive reuse of the leased heritage B Block building will provide a café and children’s playground and interface with Daws Road.

Mr Baird said final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, released last month, highlighted the benefits of smaller, lower density congregate living arrangements for quality aged care, especially for those living with dementia in its recommendations. 

“The small cottage model of care, the heart of this project, is informed by research and more than 25-years of experience in offering dementia care in small cottages in NSW and Victoria,” Mr Baird said.

The cottages will include single rooms with ensuites inclusive of numerous dementia design features, such as domestic-style kitchens where meals are prepared fresh, and generous and reminiscent living areas with safe outdoor access. Clinical and institutional aspects like offices, parking and equipment, do not intrude on the domestic atmosphere.

The project will generate about 500 construction jobs. When completed, the service will employ up to 95 staff in a range of roles.

Architects Bickerton Masters have partnered with leading Adelaide practice Swanbury Penglase and other special consultants to produce the design, inspired by local typology, including familiar architectural references. Local builder Mossop Constructions have been engaged to assist in  planning construction delivery.

Work is expected to begin on the project on the 13,000 square metre site later this year subject to project approval.

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