New aged care community opens in Maddington

07 Mar 2024

By The Record

Executive Director Aged Care Phil Martin, General Manager, Lauren Meridith, General Manager, Aged Care Services Michele Murdoch, and CEO Anthony Smith at the opening of MercyCare’s newest residential aged care home, located on Maddingtonon Monday 26 February. Photo: Supplied.

Western Australia MercyCare has last week Monday 26 February officially opened the doors to its newest residential aged care home, located on Maddington Road in Maddington, Western Australia.

Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton blessed and the 108-bed community, which is based on the best practice small-house model of care and features six homes of domestic scale, which will be home to just 18 residents each.

Chief Executive Officer of MercyCare, Mr Anthony Smith, said the new home is a reflection of MercyCare’s vision.

From left MercyCare CEO Anthony Smith, MercyCare Chair of Trustees, Jennifer Stratton, Mercy Sisters Sr Maura Kelleher RSM and Sr Marie Ralph RSM, and seated is Sr Flo O’Sullivan RSM with MercyCare Executive Director Mission and Ethos, Vicky Gonzalez Burrows. Photo: Supplied.

“The values of MercyCare, and who we are as an organisation, have come to life in this building,” Mr Smith said.

“We have created a home that is a community. And this built-form, together with our care model, makes it truly person-centred and something we are very proud of,” he said.

The new home has been over four years in the making and will officially welcome its first residents in March.

“Our brief from the very beginning was that we wanted to create a place that would be home to 108 residents but was one that felt intimate and domestic.

“We want our residents to feel like they are coming home, and I think we have achieved that here,” he said.

MercyCare CEO Anthony Smith said the new residential aged care home is a reflection of MercyCare’s vision. Photo: Supplied.

Phil Martin, Executive Director of Aged Care Services for MercyCare said the home encapsulated the future of aged care and has set the blueprint for MercyCare’s residential aged care services.

“We know that people are moving into aged care have higher clinical needs, but also want to feel like they are not living in a clinical environment. For us it was important we made it feel as much like home as possible.”

“We want the people who live here to truly experience our person-centred philosophy of ‘if it matters to you, it matters to us’ and this building has been cleverly and uniquely designed to support our delivery of this vision,” he said.

Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton leads the blessing of MercyCare’s newest residential aged care home, located on Maddington on Monday 26 February. Photo: Supplied.

Each of the six homes will support 18 residents with high care needs, including two secure wings for a total of 36 ambulant residents living with advanced dementia.

With years of research, planning and development by the MercyCare team and some of Australia’s leading architects, designers, landscape architects and planners, the $35 million build offers high quality care; a wide range of allied health and therapy services; and state-of-the-art technology to enhance care and independence of residents.

Leading edge technology is a key feature and Mr Martin said he wanted to make sure the home was future proof.

New staff at MercyCare Maddington. Photo: Supplied.

“There is a lot of amazing technology built into the home to deliver our innovative approach.

“We want our residents to feel as independent as possible, so we have technology in rooms that passively monitor resident movements –so we can detect if they may have had a fall, or are at risk of a fall, or if someone else has wandered into their room when they shouldn’t have, all whilst respecting their privacy,” he explained.

Mr Martin said MercyCare has also adopted a new model of care, incorporating a new approach to staffing, introducing the role of a Care Companion.

“Instead of having different people in different roles deliver personal care, clinical care, spiritual care or wellness needs, our Care Companions look after our residents’ holistic needs.

“Our Care Companions are then focused on what is truly important to a resident and assist them with that on their day. It means we are truly listening and delivering what each of our residents want – which is the true definition of person-centred care,” he said.

Mr Martin said at Maddington, dedicated staff will be allocated to each home.

“The same staff will work in the same home, meaning our care teams truly get to know each of their 18 residents deeply,” he added.

Dementia design principles have been adopted across the whole facility – not only in materials used, but also in the way the building has been designed. This included using contrasting colours and material and wayfinding, but also cleverly designing safe walking loops and memory supports.

The smoking ceremony at the opening of MercyCare’s newest residential aged care home, located on Maddington Road in Maddington, Western Australia on Monday 26 February. Photo: Supplied.

A unique planning approach in the design phase also saw the MercyCare team develop ‘Day in the Life’ studies for key roles and equipment, ensuring back of house operations were as discrete as possible – adding to the homely feel.

“We conducted studies in the day of the life of laundry staff, kitchen staff and care staff as well as day in the life studies of equipment like linen trolleys – so we could understand in detail how a person or item moves through a home, where they or it needs to be at certain times, making sure that journey was not only as efficient as possible – but also minimised any impact to the residents,” Mr Martin explained.

Each house has its own lounge room, small library and quiet area, and dining room – all of domestic scale and intimacy. Bedrooms have been designed to feel comfortable and homely, whilst supporting the provision of high quality clinical and personal care.

Back of house areas have been designed to be discrete and the central laundry features cutting edge design ensuring dirty and clean laundry is completely separate, future-proofing for pandemics or contagious outbreaks.

New staff at MercyCare Maddington. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Martin said one of his favourite parts of the home, however, was the enabling kitchens.

“We cook all of our food on site for our residents, but know that experience of cooking, and participating in meal preparation, is important to many of them.

“The dining room has easy access to internal gardens via automatic doors and includes an enabling kitchen which can be used by staff or families and residents to cook simple items like pancakes or scones engaging residents in everyday activities just like they would if they were in their own home,” he said.

Mr Martin said each of the small homes had different zones to suit residents needs at different points in the day.

“This includes quiet, alternative living spaces in each wing as well as larger communal activity and wellness areas, including beautiful, landscaped gardens with fruit tree and vegetable gardens as well as a self-service café, hair salon and a wellness hub,” he said.

Mr Smith added that Maddington was the result of a large amount of work from the MercyCare team as well as the external project team and it was something that he was exceptionally proud of.

“We wanted to create something where we could support our residents to live their best lives in an environment that felt like home – for both them, and their families, to enjoy.

“We have created a community for the future – this new building and the clever design of the physical space, together with our model of care, is what makes this place special and we can’t wait to welcome our residents on day one.

“When they walk in, feel comfortable and like they are home, that is when we will know we have been truly successful.”