Ozcare’s new Toowoomba aged care facility is redefining design boundaries to help a growing number of Queenslanders with dementia and to ensure residents remain an active part of their local community.
The new 150-bed facility being built at Glenvale, west of Toowoomba, is leading a changing approach by designers as demand for residential aged care shifts towards more privacy and staying connected.
“We have over 20 years’ experience in aged care in Queensland and we’re responding to a growing demand by residents for privacy and more community interaction within our facilities,” said Ozcare’s Head of Aged Care, Lanna Ramsay.
“How people age is different now. Dementia is more prevalent now than ever. We now design our buildings in a way that allows for privacy by offering generous single rooms with private ensuites and balconies.”
“Older people want aged care facilities to have a relaxed, home-like feel – it’s their home. It’s no longer a demise to come into residential aged care – people come in to live life.”
Some of the features designed to help bring people out of their rooms and bring life to the facility include:
- Intimate private lounges and dining areas for residents to entertain family and friends
- Extensive grounds and gardens with walking paths and seating
- A coffee shop open to the public
- A children’s playground, Putt Putt and lawn bowls for family, friends and to bring the wider community into the facility
Ms Ramsay said Ozcare’s focus was on keeping people well and agile and bringing meaning and purpose to their lives when they could no longer stay at home.
“They are encouraged and supported to keep participating in things they like to do, both inside and outside of the facility,” Ms Ramsay said.
“We help them stay involved in the wider community and also bring the community into our aged care facilities.
“We are very keen to have intergenerational activities as part of everyday life such as forming relationships with local child care centres and schools where kids come in and perform concerts and read.
“With these relationships we will also go out to local childcare centres and schools and get involved in their activities such as art and craft. Some of our facilities are even forming relationships with other aged care facilities in Japan and UK using Skype and other technology. ”
Some of the unique design features of the new Toowoomba facility include:
- Softly curved corridors that are more homely and private
- Warmer colour palettes in the interiors – the landscape of Toowoomba’s warm and rich valleys with pops of orange and olive is reflected
- Thoughtful interior design to help people living with dementia and those with vision-impairment – including way-finding fabrics and artwork at lift areas and nurses stations
- 30 per cent of the furniture in seating is in a different colour to help people identify seats
- Neutral floor colours when surface materials change to ensure flow, residents can mistake change in floor colour as a step.
- Patterned furniture is always used so it can be easily identified in contrast to floor colour. This even extends to chair legs so the furniture is not seen to be floating.
Other features include:
- Secure special wing for people living with Dementia and other challenging behaviours
- Residential respite care for people needing short-term care
- Retirement village to be built next door (co-located for continuum of care)
- Opens early 2019
If you are interested in staying up to date with progress on the build, click on View Toowoomba Aged Care Facility and sign up to our mailing list for exclusive updates. You can also get a sneak peak of the new building by watching recent coverage below from WIN News Toowoomba.