First residential care homes for people with dementia for South Australia

Design unveiled for innovative dementia care village in Adelaide’s Repat Health Precinct

South Australia’s first cottage-style care home to cater for 70 people living with dementia, will go ahead at the Repat Health Precinct at Daw Park in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

HammondCare Chief Executive Mike Baird was joined by Premier Steven Marshall and Minister for Health & Wellbeing Stephen Wade for the unveiling of the design featuring single level cottages on April 22, 2021.

The village will cater for people living with varying levels of severity of symptoms and behaviours.

Work is expected to begin on the 13,000-square-metre site later this year, subject to planning approval, with the residential service operating in early 2023.

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 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 of the 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.

There will be community facilities including general store, café, hairdresser, and studio.

Adaptive reuse of the leased heritage B Block building will provide a café and children’s playground and interface with Daws Road. Dementia Support Australia staff are already based in Block B.

Mr Baird said the 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.

Minister Wade said the development will create around 600 jobs for South Australians, including 500 during the construction phase and up to 95 positions once the facility is open.

He said the project was part of the Government’s response to the failures of care at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service

“This person-centred care home will form an important part of the Marshall Liberal Government reactivation of the Repat Health precinct,” said Minister Wade. “In the shadow of Oakden, this new Dementia Care Facility has been designed to provide the absolute best care for South Australians living with dementia.

Mr Wade said the Repat provides a perfect location for this facility, integrating with other recently opened specialised services at the precinct like the Neuro-Behavioural Unit and the Specialised Advanced Dementia Unit.

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.

Design flythrough


Initial sketch of the exterior of HammondCare Adelaide cottage style residential care home

Our Cottage Model

HammondCare understands that nothing is more important than a sense of belonging and feeling at home

We believe that the people in our care deserve to be treated as adults; related to with respect and compassion, offered choices that show staff recognise and value their individuality, and enabled by staff to live the life they choose with dignity, autonomy and a sense of meaning and purpose.

We're a home, not a facility

We believe that people living with dementia should have every opportunity to live as independently as possible, in order to function at their greatest potential and enjoy life.

A better way to live with dementia

Unlike many dementia care facilities, which can be large and institutional, our dementia homes are built as domestic cottages, each housing a small number of residents. As much as possible, these cottages function like homes rather than institutions. They are built around an open plan, domestic kitchen and living area, where all meals are prepared by staff and residents – yes, residents get involved!

Designed for independence

To promote autonomy and self-esteem in residents, we have designed our cottages and other environments to be legible for people with dementia. This means that residents can see or sense where they are and where they want to go. In order to minimise confusion, people with dementia must be able to read – not remember – their environment.

Adelaide cottage style care home dementia South Australia HammondCare

Dementia Village Project Q&A

The design will be modelled on the success of other HammondCare services that are designed as small domestic households that include their own domestic kitchen and laundry as well as their own backyard and gardens.

The design lodged with the State Commission Assessment Panel includes

  • 6 bunglalow-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 general store, café, hairdresser, and studio,
  • Ancillary administration and back of house and staff facilities, and
  • Adaptive reuse of the leased heritage B Block building will provide a café and children’s playground and interface with Daws Road.

HammondCare has entered into a ground lease for 12,700 square meters of the Repat Health Precinct for a period of a minimum of 40 years from the commencement of the date of commencement of operations.

Not materially; HammondCare’s design principles are still embedded in the design of these cottages but the households are reduced to 2 x 9-bed cottages and include additional outdoor spaces. The design will be modelled off Linden cottage at Hammondville NSW.

There will be two cottages that will become the State’s first Specialist Dementia Care Units (SDCU) each housing nine residents. These will be part of a network of more than 30 being funded across Australia by the Federal Government to care for people experiencing very severe symptoms of dementia.

While many features of the design are modelled on the success of other HammondCare villages, HammondCare is mindful of the importance of the Repat site and its history and this will inform its final design.

HammondCare will work closely with SA Health, Mitcham Council and local authority through the planning and assessment process.

During construction, it is expected the project will generate more than 1,200 jobs for contractors and sub-contractors from all trade disciplines.

During operations, the HammondCare service will provide full-time, part-time and casual employment for 120 people, including specialised dementia carers, specialised dementia advisors, administration and maintenance and other support staff.

Adelaide-based consultants will be utilised as well as HammondCare’s Sydney based design team. For example, our design team in Sydney will partner with a local Adelaide based architectural firm Swanbury Penglase.

Local builder Mossop Constructions have been engaged in planning construction delivery. 

Construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2021, subject to planning approval.

The residential care service is expected to begin operations in early 2023.

Dementia Support Australia’s South Australian office moved into Block B at the Repat in February 2021

Dementia Support Australia (DSA), a service led by HammondCare funded by the Federal Government, already has staff based in South Australia providing dementia care and support expertise across the aged care industry.

It provides the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS), Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRT) and the Needs Based Assessment Program for determining eligibility for Specialist Dementia Care Programs (SDCP) nationwide. Supported by the Australian Government under the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund, Dementia Support Australia offers a free national service operating 24/7, 365 days a year.

HammondCare is providing a purpose-built residential service to provide care and dignity for people living with dementia, including those experiencing severe behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia through the Federally-funded Specialist Dementia Care Units (SDCU). The model of care is evidence-based to provide the most effective quality of life and minimise disability for those living with dementia.

SA Health is working with another service provider on the development of an Older Persons Mental Health Service separately onsite. A neurobehavioural unit is being provided in the former Ward 19 as part of a key initiative in implementing the recommendations of the Oakden Report.

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