South Australian home care provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) has launched a new proof-of-concept ‘care hotel’, aimed at providing a range of short term care and respite solutions.

David Panter

 ECH says the “Dandelion” care hotel is the first of its kind in Australia and represents a paradigm shift in the way people can be supported as they age.

The care hotel concept aims to provide a similar experience to a hotel stay, in a home-like environment.

Guests are greeted and taken to their suite by hotel concierge, and have room service and voice activated technology.

They also have access to general practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and dieticians was well as a range of services encompassing fitness activities, massage and music therapy provided by ECH staff.

The base rate per night is $432 which can be charged to Home Care Packages or CHSP. The contribution is $100 per night for those with flexible respite or cottage respite under the CHSP.

Testing long-term viability

CEO Dr David Panter says the proof-of-concept will help determine the long-term viability of the model of care before ECH offers the service more widely.

He says the hotel is designed to minimise hospital visits, empower older people and challenge the limitations of existing care models.

“There is a great need to move away from the current ‘one size fits all’ thinking in relation to care giving and allow people to have the power to make their own choices in relation to their overall health and wellbeing,” Dr Panter says.

Dandelion is located at ECH College Grove in Walkerville and currenlty features sixteen suites and an on-site gym.

Eight of the suites offer short stay options for people transitioning from hospital who may need more frequent care than they can get at home.

The remaining eight are for people with dementia and are designed to offer respite to carers.

ECH Dandelion Manager Mandy Ross says the goal is to provide a tailored experience in a ‘home away from home’ setting for guests and to challenge traditional models of care and service delivery.

“Our staff will be able to provide a range of integrated and tailored support and work one-on-one with guests to help them get back to living independently at home,” she says.

The proof of concept will run until the end of this year.

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