South Australian not-for-profit aged care provider Life Care has been recognised internationally for the highest standard of dementia design at its facility in Joslin.
Life Care’s Gaynes Park Manor has become the first residential aged care facility in the Southern Hemisphere to be awarded the Gold Standard Accreditation from the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) in the UK.
Life Care CEO Allen Candy said the accreditation rewarded the organisation’s continuous effort to be at the forefront of design and care models for residents with dementia.
“At a time when the care of our aged community is under more scrutiny than ever, we’re proud to be recognised for our approach to dementia care that promotes independence, choice and above all, respect,” Mr Candy said.
“A key to Gaynes Park Manor receiving the award, was our use of an innovative real time location system. This removes the need for physically cordoned areas and enables people living with dementia to move around safely and with confidence within virtual boundaries.”
The facility also uses a house model where residents are grouped into small communities with unique visual cues to help with recall and orientation, he said.
The facility’s design together with the care model builds confidence in people living with dementia, creating a familiar, calm environment and promoting wellbeing, Mr Candy said.
Internationally-recognised dementia design auditors undertake the accreditation process, said DSDC chief architect Lesley Palmer.
“We require dementia care environments to meet or exceed an extensive set of standards that focus on providing the best possible care experience for people living with dementia.
“The gold award is our highest standard and Life Care is the only provider in the Southern Hemisphere to receive this level of accreditation,” Ms Palmer said.
The Dementia Centre in Australia can similarly assess and accredit an aged care building’s design through its Dementia Design Endorsement program, which was launched in 2013.
The program involves a detailed audit of existing or planned environments and looks at areas such as wayfinding, lighting, inviting and safe spaces, and suitability of furniture and fittings, and offers a gold, silver or bronze level of endorsement.
Dementia Centre director Associate Professor Colm Cunningham encouraged providers to seek the accreditation because it endorsed the quality of their services.
“The endorsement demonstrates that the service has used the latest evidence to assess all the places that people with dementia live in to ensure that they function well and are enabled in that environment,” Associate Professor Cunningham told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“It is an important demonstration to families and carers and people with dementia that your services are the right environment for their needs.
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