Ryman opens $30m extension, joins UTS study

Ryman Healthcare has opened a $30 million extension at the Nellie Melba Retirement Village and partnered on a UTS study into integrated aged care models.

Ryman Healthcare has opened a $30 million extension of the Nellie Melba Retirement Village in south-east Melbourne and announced new research investigating its continuum of care approach.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Ryman Healthcare Australia CEO Cameron Holland cut the ribbon to officially open the new 41-apartment complex in Wheelers Hill on Friday.

Cameron Holland (left) and Daniel Andrews officially opening the new part of the village

The village – which opened in 2018 – comprises 256 independent living apartments, 85 assisted living apartments, and a 190-bed aged care home. Ryman Healthcare also provides its home care services to village residents.

The New Zealand-based company – which expanded to Australia in 2014 – builds and operates villages where independent retirement living and residential and home aged care services are fully integrated on the same site. It commissioned a report last year that highlights the benefits of this continuum of care model – a design widely embraced across the ditch – and why Australia should adopt it more widely.

UTS to study benefits of integrated models

Also announced at Friday’s event was a two-year University of Technology Sydney study evaluating the potential benefits of different continuum of care models in Australia including Ryman’s approach.

Lead researcher Professor David Brown from UTS’s Ageing Research Collaborative said the project would focus on the care and financial outcomes of the continuum of care model, and examine barriers in the Australian aged care landscape to its implementation.

“Older people in Australia and their carers have great difficulty navigating their way along the care and ageing journey,” Professor Brown said in a statement. “This is mostly due to the highly fragmented nature of the aged care system and the complexity of the aged care transition points, such as retirement living to residential aged care, which often occur in times of crisis. This situation makes for an often costly and traumatic experience.”

Embracing an integrated approach to the delivery of aged care was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, he added.

Ryman Healthcare Australia CEO Cameron Holland said the expansion of its Nellie Melba village underscored the huge demand for continuum of care villages on this side of the Tasman.

“While the benefits of the continuum of care villages are obvious, we’re really excited that UTS will be doing a rigorous analysis of how they can positively impact an individual’s health and wellbeing.”

Australian Ageing Agenda understands UTS has provided funding for the study under the Strategic Research Accelerator Program to support two post-doctoral fellows for two years each plus some non-salary research support. UTS is currently recruiting for these positions. 

Main image: Cameron Holland (left) and Daniel Andrews outside the newly opened extension of the Nellie Melba village

Have we missed an expansion or opening? Send us the details and an image to editorial@australianageingagenda.com.au

Tags: Cameron Holland, continuum-of-care, david brown, ryman healthcare, UTS Ageing research collaborative,

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