A new aged care facility is on the cards for Darwin seniors, with one local organisation calling for the NT Government to make this a top priority.
It comes as the NT Government has opened expressions of interest for to build, own, operate or partner in a new 60 bed residential aged care facility that will also incorporate care for patients with dementia.
Council of the Ageing NT are calling for departments, like the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, to give this much-needed development an urgent status.
CEO Sue Shearer says the proposed new facility should also consider designing the homes to model the likes of others across the nation and in other countries.
“We would also encourage EOI to include designs such as the Dutch concept of the dementia village, where residents live in small cluster homes and continue to live as close to a regular life as possible,” she says.
“Research has shown that these styles of homes mean people have a better quality of life and fewer visits to hospital.”
The new facility could also free up much-needed beds in hospitals, with approximately 45 patients in Royal Darwin Hospital and 60 in Palmerston Hospital waiting for a spot in Darwin’s existing aged care facilities.
Ms Shearer is also encouraging the NT Government and developers to consider creating a space for elderly couples to move in together – as the current rooms in most aged care homes do not cater for this.
“We often see seniors with partners needing aged care being left alone when their partner is moved into an aged care facility,” she says.
“Understandably leaving a life-long partner – the source of greatest comfort, safety and familiarity – can cause a great deal of distress and anguish which can be avoided.”
The EOI for developers and organisation’s from the aged care sector to have their say closes on April 24.