First look at innovative cottage-style dementia care home planned for SA

SA Repat Health Dementia Care Home HammondCare Daw Park South Australia salon shop people street buildingsThe design has been revealed for South Australia’s first cottage-style care home at the Repat Health Precinct in Adelaide, which will cater to people living with dementia. It includes a shop, hairdressing salon and cafe.

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 & 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 dementia severity, 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:

SA Repat Health Dementia Care Home HammondCare Daw Park South Australia site plan

  • Six bunglalow-style cottages for 9-15 residents, built around a central park and plaza, with good access to private and public outdoor areas
  • Two cottages, each offering nine places, will be specialist dementia care units – funded by the Commonwealth and SA Health -- linked to an 11-place step down cottage
  • Community facilities such as 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 childrens' playground, and interface with Daws Road.

Mr Baird said the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & 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' 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 has partnered with leading Adelaide practice Swanbury Penglase and other special consultants to produce the design, which is inspired by local typology and includes familiar architectural references. Local builder Mossop Constructions has been engaged to assist in planning construction delivery.

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

SA Repat Health Dementia Care Home HammondCare Daw Park South Australia drawing sketch people cottages lawn

Design fly-through