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“Innovative microtown” confirmed for QLD

A “microtown” for seniors with complex care needs has been confirmed for Queensland, and will help those with younger onset dementia.

NewDirection Care announced the “inclusive” residential care community would be built between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, and designed to encourage residents to be independent, interactive and involved.

Founder and chief executive Natasha Chadwick said the Bellmere facility would help meet the demand of the growing residential aged care sector, which is expected to require 83,500 new places by 2025.

“NewDirection Care is just the beginning of an ongoing journey and innovative change in aged care,” she said. “Our residential care community in Bellmere is pioneering and shattering the mindset of a traditional aged care facility.

“My aim and that of NewDirection Care is to change the way we care for our elderly members of society and those living with dementia, not just in Australia but worldwide.”

Chadwick conceptualised NewDirection Care in 2011, with the belief that a “paradigm shift” was needed in the aged care industry.

“I realised that incremental improvements are no longer enough; we need to radically rethink how we look after the elderly and those living with dementia,” she said.

“The current traditional aged care model is no longer relevant in the world we live in today.”

According to Chadwick, her residential aged care design is the first of its kind in the world.

During its testing phase in 2014 she opened two houses in Tasmania and invited residents to assess the innovative changes. Its success led to the creation of Bellmere.

The town includes regular facilities such as a corner store, cafe, cinema, gym, gardens and GP facilities, and currently caters to 120 residents.

Each home has a mobile monitoring system, movement sensors and a 24/7 “house companion” responsible for medication, cleaning, personal care and nutrition.

“NewDirection Care at Bellmere is a tribute to the thousands of people who have shared their stories at the end of their life with me over the years,” Chadwick said.

“These stories are part of what drove and inspired me to create a new aged care model.”

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  1. What a wonderful concept – this should be compulsory in all residential facilities. Enabling not disabling should be the mantra.

    • Yes it is a fantastic concept but no doubt enabling on this scale has a cost factor? I have just been reading how cognitive ageing may create susceptibility to poor financial decision making. If our wonderful seniors do not have supports in place for their advancing years how do the majority afford new aged care models?