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Caring without a home

Finding your way in the city

In early 2020, HammondCare completed a new build in Darlinghurst, Sydney, that provides purpose-built long-term residential aged care accommodation for men and women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the area.

Over 18,000 elderly are homeless in Australia, 800 in Sydney and an increased concentration in the inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst. Currently there is very little accommodation available for at risk people within the area.

This build is a very different development for HammondCare as it is not specifically built for people with dementia yet includes many of the design elements that are applied to HammondCare’s model of care.

Simon Thorne, an architect and Director of IntegratedDESIGNgroup, who were engaged to design the Darlinghurst build, will present “Finding your way: in the city” during the Homeless-Caring without a home on demand theme at next month’s HammondCare’s online International Dementia Conference.

Simon will explain how the HammondCare design principles have been applied in the urban environment of Darlinghurst, with particular consideration for the residents who are at their most vulnerable.

“During this presentation I will outline the lessons learnt during the project build as we explored design aspects that will support a home-like environment for those people who are homeless or experiencing homelessness.” says Simon

“The environment where a person lives impacts their quality of life, enabling independence, and reducing anxiety.

Evidence shows that a carefully designed environment can be as vital to positive outcomes in aged care as the care itself.

Prior to the anticipated opening of HammondCare Darlinghurst a design workshop was held that provided attendees with a unique insight into how design principles have been translated into building features which will directly influence the resident’s quality of life and support quality care delivery.

The building design has put a high priority on the normalcy of ordinary life. There are four floors, each floor being completely discreet with 9-11 private bedrooms, shared living spaces, and open plan kitchen. Much thought has gone into the design of the accommodation, understanding these residents have often been used to their own space and company, with open-air access through a courtyard, balconies and the street. 

The design model allows the environment to be the engaging factor rather than using diversional techniques to modify mood or behaviour, while providing 24 hour a day care. The location of the site is fundamental to its success and keep the residents connected to their community.  

Residential Manger of HammondCare’s Darlinghurst, Peter Armstrong JP, believes that the domestic homelike environment not only provides residents with secure accommodation and care provision but also that sense of community and belonging.

“Having experience working with people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness I see HammondCare Darlinghurst dovetailing our Mission in Action and Model of Care with the concept of St John’s Rough Edges space where different communities collide, share with and serve each other,” says Peter.

The land is owned by St John’s church and HammondCare has worked in partnership with St Johns to ensure that the design blends with the surrounding landscape with the building transitioning from the surrounding high-rise buildings to the historical architecture and community refuge of St Johns Church. 

This year’s International Dementia Conference as a virtual experience, launching on 21 -22 September, will again offer a comprehensive design program for architects, environmental planners, and organisations building the next generation of aged care communities. International experts Monique Wijnties, David Hughes, Emi Kiyota and Richard Fleming will share their ideas and concepts during a Design Showcase on Day 1 of the live-streamed event. There will also be an opportunity to hear from speakers with more local experiences during the on-demand portion of the programme. #IDC2020

We are also excited to have Total Construction as our Platinum Sponsor at #IDC2020. Total Construction provides innovative construction solutions across the aged care and health, food and beverage, renewable energies, commercial and industrial, airports and infrastructure, education and childcare, and fit-out (retail and clubs) sectors. Visit their sponsor site during #IDC2020 and chat to the team.

Register here to attend #IDC2020 dementiaconference.com

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