Home | Aged Care Royal Commission | 50 grand up for grabs in aged care home design competition

50 grand up for grabs in aged care home design competition

The federal government last week announced a competition where architects can submit aged-care home designs to test the new National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines for a chance to win $50,000.

The 'Reimagining Where We Live' competition will accept entries of designs for both metropolitan and regional sites that align to the Aged Care Royal Commission-recommended principles:

  1. Enable the person: To support people living in a place that maintains their health, wellbeing and sense of identity.
  2. Cultivate a home: Create a familiar environment in which people have privacy, control and a sense of belonging.
  3. Access the outdoors: To support people seeing, accessing and spending time outdoors in contact with nature.
  4. Connect with community: To encourage people to connect with family, friends and community, continuing to participate in meaningful ways.

Each principle has several guidelines that explicitly describe what aged care residents need to ensure quality living. The report states that previously, aged care has focused too much on 'care delivery', and not enough on the 'experience of living in the home'.

The draft guidelines recommend things like minimising clutter, using plain flooring and wallpaper patterns and keeping a maximum of 15 residents to one section of a home to cater for the different needs of elderly people.

$50,000 will be awarded to a first place winner for a metropolitan design, and another to first-place regional design, with second place prizes of $20,000 to each category also.

Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells said this competition will tell the government if the guidelines have been successful in supporting innovative aged care home design that will better meet the need of future generations.

"Design has the potential to vastly improve quality of life for older people living in aged care homes – as well as the working environments of the people who care for them," the minister said.

"To achieve this, design must be grounded in the experiences of people who live in aged care homes and evidence for how best to mitigate the challenges that lead them to seek residential care."

This competition is endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, and entries will close at midday (AEDT) on December 15.

The final guidelines will be published in November 2023, and should be implemented in July 2024.

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