At Ballarat’s newest aged care home there’s a pub, cafe, grocery store, state-of-the-art wellness centre, and other facilities to optimise the quality of life of its residents.
There’s also a unique new care model – small household living – which sees eight residents share a “home” within the Mercy Place Ballarat aged care facility.
At its first open day on Wednesday, hundreds of people took tours of the new building which officially opens next month.
When at capacity, Mercy Place will be home to 112 residents in 14 “homes” which each have their own front door, kitchen, lounge area, communal space and eight bedrooms each with an ensuite.
Care companions will cook, clean and care for residents within the smaller groups, giving greater flexibility to meals, meal times, menus, and personal care routines.
Residents will decide on their meals for the week and send their shopping list to on-site grocer Lesley Sapsead who will ensure everything is in stock.
“I will procure the food and can deliver it or if they wish they can select it for themselves. I make sure the core ingredients are in, and it’s stocked like a regular grocery store,” she said.
With a background in retail but not in aged care, Ms Sapsead said she was excited at the opportunity to try something new – and she has plans for the ground-floor grocery store.
“Our housing coordinator made a stock of preserves, and I’d like to get residents involved in making that kind of thing to sell.”
The centre also has a hairdressing salon, library, craft room, events booth, outdoor gym, playground for visiting children and medical consulting suites.
Mercy Health chief Dr Linda Mellors was excited to hear the feedback from potential residents and their families, some of whom had attended Sacred Heart Convent Boarding School which used to occupy the Corbett Street site.
“Last week I was in Western Australia looking at the small household model and to see the engagement of residents in that model, there’s a very clear difference from traditional aged care,” Dr Mellors said.
“They were engaged and productive. One of the households was making black forest cakes – one for their home and three for neighbouring households and everyone was involved.”
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