Minister for Aged Care opens HammondCare Wahroonga

A $21 million, multistorey dementia care home, based on HammondCare's world-leading cottage-style dementia design, was opened today in Sydney’s north, by the new Federal Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt.

HammondCare Wahroonga, on Sydney’s north shore, incorporates a cottage-style design model over five storeys, and will provide 57 beds for people living with dementia.

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Leading the way

At the official opening Minister Wyatt said HammondCare was leading the way in meeting the needs of people living with dementia and high care needs.

"It is days like today that make me proud to be the Minister for Aged Care - to see best practice and innovation in the sector," Mr Wyatt said.

"By 2054-2055 there will be nearly two million people aged 85 and over. Older people with dementia are in need of specialised care and HammondCare is rising to the challenge with this state of the art facility.

Mr Wyatt said he was impressed by the level of care shown during previous visits to other HammondCare services and praised the organisation for its innovative programs, such as Dogs for Dementia and Arts on Prescription, which allowed people with dementia to remain connected to their community.

The event was also attended by the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher, and the State Member for Ku-ring-gai, Alister Henskens.

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Australian-first design

“People living with dementia are happiest in an environment that is smaller in size, home-like, has access to outdoors, lots of natural light and is easy to navigate,” said HammondCare’s General Manager of Residential Care, Angela Raguz.

“This design, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, translates our internationally renowned cottage-style homes, normally part of a village, into a multi-level building. This means people can remain living near family and where they are familiar.”

Ms Raguz said the apartments are designed to replicate a home - each has its own familiar, domestic-looking kitchen where fresh, healthy meals are cooked for residents. The home features five apartments with a different level of care provided on each floor, as well as a chapel, resident’s shop, hairdresser, and other amenities.

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Evidence-based design

Specific dementia design features incorporated in the new building include:

  • access to outdoors via terraces and balconies, with lots of natural light
  • ensuites with clearly visible toilets in resident’s rooms to assist way-finding
  • memory boxes next to the doors
  • plain décor with contrasting colours to assist with people finding their way

The home was completed late last year and the first residents moved in last month. Nearly 100 people attended the opening and there was a performance from the Abbotsleigh Junior School Choir and a Quartet.

Click here to find out more about HammondCare Wahroonga.