Innovative dementia space opens in Queensland

A new purpose-built, person-centred environment for people living with dementia has opened in a seniors living and care community on the Gold Coast.

A new purpose-built, person-centred environment for people living with dementia has opened in a seniors living and care community on the Gold Coast.

Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities in Robina –  a retirement resort that provides care in residents’ homes and onsite respite and dementia care – has dedicated an entire level of its three-tower facility to seniors with cognitive impairments.

Called Memory Lane, the initiative is unlike any other memory support unit in the country, according to Odyssey chief wellness officer Rebecca Hamer.

Rebecca Hamer

“Given its five-star quality, care structure, person-centred approach and home environment that does not present like a traditional memory support unit, Memory Lane is entirely unique within the industry,” said Ms Hamer.

The space provides residents with the care and support they need in an environment that promotes autonomy and choice, she said.

“Our goal is to keep residents as independent as possible and offer as little or as much care that is needed, and we have found that this has helped reduce behaviours.”

While Memory Lane is its own self-governing space, Ms Hamer said residents can still enjoy functions and events within Odyssey’s wider community. “It’s important that they never feel or become isolated.”

Residents are included in the day-to-day running of Memory Lane and are encouraged to help out with chores, said Ms Hamer. “It creates a real home setting where normality and comfort are at the forefront.”

Chores may involve residents assisting with the washing up, said Ms Hamer. “Another one of our residents is a passionate gardener, so she has taken ownership of watering the vegetable garden.”

Between 400,000 and 487,000 Australians live with dementia, with two-thirds living in the community, according to the latest data from Australian Institite of Health and Welfare.

Phil Usher

Odyssey founder and CEO Phil Usher said Memory Lane is staffed around-the-clock by an experienced team capable of dealing with the challenges faced by those residents with more advanced cognitive decline.

“Memory Lane means that no matter how a resident’s dementia progresses, they will be looked after in an environment that prioritises their safety and dignity.”

Main image: Memory Lane resident with chief wellness officer Rebecca Hamer

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Tags: Memory Lane, Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities, Phil Usher, Rebecca Hamer,

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