Aug 15, 2023

South Australia’s first dementia village opens

HammondCare Daw Park opening with (l-r) Minister Chris Picton, Louise Miller-Frost MP, HammondCare Chair Kok Kong Chan, Maggie Beer and HammondCare CEO Mike Baird
HammondCare Daw Park opening with Health and Wellbeing Minister Chris Picton, Louise Miller Frost MP, HammondCare Chair Kok Kong Chan, Maggie Beer and HammondCare CEO Mike Baird. [Source: Supplied]

A unique dementia care village where residents will live in small household cottages and help with daily tasks such as preparing meals in their own kitchens has opened in Adelaide’s Daw Park.

With a focus on relationship-based care, the new 70-place dementia care village at the Repat Health Precinct has been delivered by aged care providers, HammondCare, in partnership with the Federal and State Government.

HammondCare Daw Park offers a model of care tailored to suit individual needs in a warm and welcoming atmosphere around a village green, plus an onsite café, children’s playground, hairdresser, general store, and older person’s exercise park.

The cottage model of care was informed by research and nearly 30 years of experience in offering dementia care in small cottages in New South Wales and Victoria.

HammondCare Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Baird opened HammondCare Park together with South Australian  Health and Wellbeing Minister Chris Picton, chef and author Maggie Beer,  HammondCare Board Chair Kok Kong Chan, and carers advocate Jeni Aikman.

The village has been designed around small, home-like cottages to maximise autonomy and minimise disability, as recommended by the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The village also includes a general store where residents can pick up supplies for their cottage. Shopping provides people living with dementia a sense of meaning and purpose.

Two of the cottages, each accommodating nine people, will support residents with high level needs under the Specialist Dementia Care Program, with one funded by the Commonwealth and the other by the State Government. The other cottages support people living with varying levels of care needs.

Mr Baird said the new dementia care village was the beginning of new chapter.

“HammondCare is proud to open this special aged care home for South Australians living with dementia in line with our mission to improve the quality of life for people in need,” Mr Baird said.

The model of care and the homelike environment would be important for the residents living with dementia, Minister Picton said.

Inside the General Store at HammondCare Daw Park
Inside the General Store at HammondCare Daw Park. [Source: Supplied]

Each cottage includes a domestic kitchen and laundry where residents are encouraged to participate in daily tasks. There is a mix of spacious communal living areas and private sitting spaces along with safe and easy access from the cottages to the outdoors with shaded gardens.

HammondCare is recruiting 130 staff providing 24/7 Registered Nurse-led care, with trained and compassionate carers and specialist clinical support such as psychogeriatrics or geriatricians provided by SA Health.

The State Government provided the land for the village.

Two cottages will welcome the first residents this month, with the remaining four cottages to open in coming months.

For more information visit the HammondCare website.

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  1. A good enough idea…that was fashionable 20 years ago and it failed then.
    This scenario is perhaps okay for early onset dementia but as the condition detiorates huge problems arise. One being “security of tenure” and the residents charter of rights.
    As a residents condition worsens they can’t possibly be near a kitchen, infection control issues, continence and intrusive behaviours etc etc and homes have no means to transfer someone to a more appropriate area.
    Lots of problems..and let’s not forget that people are entering care much later in life and with higher care needs.

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