Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Casuarina Grove aged care facility wins prestigious design award

Photograph of Casuarina Grove

7 Sep 2011

Casuarina Grove aged care facility for people with a disability was recently awarded an Urban Development Institute NSW, Austral Bricks Award for Excellence. 

Developed to become the new home for former residents of the Peat Island Centre, Casuarina Grove is a purpose-built cluster-style facility with ten homes, each having ten bedrooms. 

The contrast for former residents of the Peat Island Centre couldn’t be greater. Built decades ago, residents’ accommodation on Peat Island was based on modified hospital wards and the island’s location meant residents were completely isolated from the local community.

Following months of planning and consultation with residents and their families, the Casuarina Grove Aged Care Facility for people with a disability was formally opened earlier this year.

Former Peat Island Centre resident Marty, sums up the feelings of many of the new residents of Casuarina Grove.

“It all looks so beautiful and I like it. I feel really good.”

The Urban Design Institute NSW Award judges noted, “The design of the facility provides a welcoming home-like setting … the use of single-storey construction, local builders and a straightforward approach to the overall planning has achieved value for money.”

The Minister for Disability Services and Ageing, Andrew Constance, said the award recognises the NSW Government’s commitment to increase the range and type of supported accommodation to better meet the needs of people with a disability who are ageing.

“We are committed to closing existing large residential centres and developing more appropriate accommodation in community settings with a more home-like environment that better meet clients’ needs,” Mr Constance said.

Mr Constance said that a number of other large residential centre redevelopments were in progress and he looked forward to further positive outcomes for the current residents, their families and support workers.

David, parent of one of Casuarina Grove residents, shares a view common among many parents. “Because I’m getting on a bit in years, he’ll live long after me. He needs an environment where he can be happy.”

While the contrast between the design and surroundings of the Peat Island Centre and Casuarina Grove is obvious, it’s clear the design has achieved the most important change, a stronger sense of community. 

Support worker, Lesley, previously worked at Peat Island Centre and has transferred to Casuarina Grove.

“People walk past, drop in and talk. The families come and visit now, we sit on the verandah together … it really is like a neighbourhood,” said Lesley.

 

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