Sep 05, 2023

Older Territorians to welcome much awaited dementia-friendly care facility

There are about 835 people with dementia in the Northern Territory but no specialised dementia aged care facilities. [Source: Supplied]

Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) has unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art $18 million expansion of its aged care service in the heart of Darwin.

Southern Cross Care (SCC) will expand its footprint at Pearl Supported Care in Fannie Bay with a new purpose-built dementia-friendly unit and age-friendly Health and Wellness Centre that will help to transform the delivery of aged care and healthy ageing services in the Northern Territory.

There are currently 709 aged care beds in the Northern Territory and this project will increase capacity by 30% at Pearl Supported Care with 26 new aged care beds, housed in a dedicated unit that incorporates the latest in dementia-friendly design principles.

Key elements of the project include:

  • Two separate living wings and central lounge, dining and activities spaces. These central areas will also provide dedicated cyclone shelter for residents and staff
  • State-of-the-art Health & Wellness Centre offering world-class equipment and a wide range of services including physiotherapy, podiatry and exercise physiology, group fitness, strength and rehabilitation classes, social activities and more
The Pearl Supported Care in Fannie Bay. [Source: Supplied]

“Pearl Supported Care has a proud history of providing quality aged care and allied health services to the Darwin community,” SCC Chief Executive Officer, David Moran, said. 

“Our expanded Pearl care home will offer our people a modernised workplace and opportunities for career advancement. We are keen to support our existing valued staff members at Pearl as well as build, train and recruit future employees.”

The project was partly funded by a capital grant from the Commonwealth Government.

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles said the Northern Territory is now Australia’s fastest ageing population. 

“The Northern Territory Government is working closely with key stakeholders to improve our capacity to care for Territorians as they age in their homes as well as in community residential settings.” Minister Fyles said.

Building works are expected to commence in mid-2024 and be completed in time for operations to commence in late 2025.

Similarly, in March, the NT Government announced that organisations in the aged care sector could apply to build and operate a new 60-bed aged care facility, including 12 specialist dementia care places, in the Greater Darwin area.

The announcement comes after the NT government made a bid to the Commonwealth for more aged care beds, which were allocated in 2021, but progress is only just now being made.

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