THE design of Mercy Place Warrnambool’s 55-bed second stage aims to eliminate isolation and loneliness for residents, Mercy Health’s chief executive Stephen Cornelissen says.
Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen told yesterday’s official opening ceremony the $9.5 million second stage incorporated the latest design objectives for aged-care facilities, which were to create a home-like environment that was “a place for gathering”.
It added to Mercy Place Warrnambool’s ability to enable residents to live their lives “to their best every day”, Adjunct Professor Cornelissen said.
The second stage enhanced the centre’s home-like environment by building a hairdressing area, communal area, café, a central dining area, a resident kitchen and a chapel near the front of the centre to create an “interactive” area for residents and staff, he said.
The completion of stage two gives Mercy Place Warrnambool a total of 120 beds, 86 of which have been filled.
Service manager Sheryl Nicolson said stage two had opened for new residents last December and was receiving “a steady stream of interest” from prospective residents.
Mercy Place’s first stage, which comprised 65 beds including 25 in a memory support unit, was completed in 2010.
Ms Nicolson said a waiting list had grown for beds in stage one, which was one of the reasons behind construction of stage two.
Among those to take rooms in the latest development were people who could still manage at home but had come to Mercy Place because they wanted the companionship of other people nearby, she said.
The completion of stage two has enabled Mercy to offer more respite care beds, including respite dementia care, Ms Nicolson said.
“Previously respite beds were in the secure (memory support) unit.”
Having more respite beds available outside the secure unit had freed up more beds for respite dementia care, she said.
Mercy Place Warrnambool was also able to care for younger people who needed care because of acquired injuries, Ms Nicolson said.
It could provide lifestyle programs suited to such people, she said.