Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Major redevelopment of disability accommodation in Western Sydney

12 March 2012

The NSW Government has today announced plans for the redevelopment of the Large Residential Centres at Westmead and Rydalmere for people with a disability.

Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, said $160.4 million will go towards the construction of more than 70 new dwellings at around 50 sites throughout NSW over the next three years.

“It’s totally inappropriate in this day and age for people with disabilities to be locked away in institutions,” Mr Constance said.

“People with disabilities should be able to enjoy a quality of life that is readily available for other citizens in NSW.”

“The NSW Government is committed to improving the lives of the 344 residents at Westmead and Rydalmere and increasing their scope for individual choice and decision-making.”

“All of the residents will be provided with new accommodations that have the look and feel of a home, with individual bedrooms, multiple living areas and a backyard.”

An extensive consultation process will begin shortly with each resident, their families and carers.

“I acknowledge that today’s decision will cause anxiety for some families and residents, but I can assure them that the closure of other Large Residential Centres, including Peat Island, has resulted in enormous quality of life improvements for people with a disability,” Mr Constance said.

“Residents at Rydalmere, who require the highest level of support for their complex behavioural needs, will be supported in a cluster of new group homes to be built on the existing site.”

“Residents with complex aged care-related needs will be supported in retirement village-style accommodation to be constructed in Western Sydney, preferably Parramatta, where there is good access to public transport and is near to a major hospital.”

“Residents with complex health care needs will be supported in a mixture of houses and units, and like the aged care village, will be constructed on sites in Western Sydney close to good public transport and a major hospital.”

Other residents will be offered the choice of contemporary residential accommodation models including co-located houses and villas, and clustered or stand-alone group homes.

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said the new supported accommodation will be tailored to meet the needs of each individual.

“Importantly, residents and their families may select options that best suit their needs including requesting locations close to each other, while friendship and sibling groups will also be respected,” Mr Lee said.

“People with high medical needs will continue to have access to nursing staff and all residents will have priority access to allied health services such as therapists and dieticians.”

All accommodation options will provide the same level of 24-hour support that residents currently receive.

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