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Designing for wellbeing in Aged Care: 3 key trends

Home is as much about having a physical place where we can relax as it is about how it makes us feel. Residential Aged Care has come a long way, as hospital-style accommodations have made way for person-centred facilities that promote quality of life, holistic wellbeing, and personalised care needs. TriCare has championed this trend for many years, as is showcased in our most recent build in Williams Landing. With Aged Care best practice constantly evolving and improving, we are responding to the latest research in our new Melbourne facility, Williams Landing Aged Care Residence.

TriCare Aged Care Williams Landing

1. There’s no place like home

Residential Aged Care facility design has been reimagined to create spaces that feel like warm, vibrant homes. Though the 4-story Williams Landing Aged Care Residence is large and luxurious in appearance, what stands out most about the design is the way every detail has been carefully considered to support residents’ diverse lifestyle preferences. Cavernous, hospital-like environments are out and cosy, bright options are in. At Williams Landing, spaces are brimming with natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings, creating an environment that benefits mental and overall health. There are numerous shared spaces which encourage socialisation as well as plenty of quiet spots to rest or spend time with family. In addition, couples accommodation and the multitude of spaces to socialise allows residents to spend time with family and friends in privacy.

2. Environments that benefit everyone

When design is comfortable and safe it is helpful and welcoming for all residents, and Williams Landing was designed to enhance the lived experience of people with a wide range of care needs. Residents living with dementia, for example, benefit from spaces that connect residents to their natural surroundings and feature abundant natural light and safe outdoor spaces. These outdoor spaces are central features throughout the residence, from balconies with views of Melbourne City or Altona Bay, to the conservatory with glass ceiling and walls looking out to the atrium.

Inside, the colour scheme has been selected using mostly neutral colours to create a calm and tranquil atmosphere. Pops of mustard, rust, sage, and seafoam awaken emotional responses, promote cheerful moods, and make the Residence feel like home. In addition, colour contrasts are used from floors to walls to help with visibility. Finally, accents like vases, ornaments, cushions, and books make the Residence feel inviting and homely.

The bedrooms alone are the result of years of work and development, based on staff and resident feedback from every TriCare Aged Care Residence build. They feature large light switches and wide cupboard and drawer handles for those with reduced manual agility. Windows have curtains that can be pulled across by hand rather than curtains or blinds with cords or pulleys. The surfaces in the bedrooms are mostly matt to avoid glare which can be difficult for senior eyes and certain eye and cognitive conditions. It is key that residents’ mobility and independence are facilitated throughout the residence, so all entry ways and hallways are extra-wide. This maximises freedom for residents to easily attend the on-site theatre, café, salon, and other shared spaces and activities. These details create a supportive space for all residents and staff to live and work.

3. Community connections

People of all ages, including seniors, thrive when they have social connections to the wider community, and this is being reflected in modern Aged Care design. At Williams Landing, one of the primary considerations was how to connect residents to the community and their natural surroundings. In addition to a planted conservatory central to the layout and ample safe places to feel the sun or a breeze, the Residence is located adjacent to a protected nature reserve. This means residents have undisrupted views of this reserve, in addition to views of Melbourne City and Altona Bay for many years to come.

From start to finish, Williams Landing Aged Care Residence demonstrates a new era of Aged Care, combining the latest Aged Care research with contemporary design. You can book a tour to see the Residence for yourself here or find out more about Williams Landing here.

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