Yaandina Frail and Aged Care Centre, Roebourne

Health and aged care

  • Project

    20 bed aged care facility with dementia-specific and palliative care accommodation

  • Services

    Full architectural and interior design services

  • Location

    Roebourne, WA

  • Client

    Yaandina Family Centre Inc, Department of Health and Ageing

  • Date

    2015

Yaandina Frail and Aged Care Centre (YFACC) is the first aged care facility to be built in Roebourne, Western Australia, home to the largest indigenous community in the Pilbara. History has shown that older indigenous people are reluctant to use facilities which don’t meet their cultural needs. The design team approached the brief with cultural context as a primary concern, particularly with regard to spirituality and end-of-life rituals.

The centre provides large rooms that allow family members to spend extended periods with those in care. A central courtyard is directly accessible from each room, and provides a generous and safe semi-outdoor area where residents can relax and interact. A garden space outside each room can be personalised.

Lessons learnt from an indigenous aged care facility in South Hedland guided the design to be appropriate to the residents’ end of life needs. Parking, egress and the layout of the palliative care rooms respond sensitively in this context.

Special attention was paid to selecting materials for durability and low maintenance, and for ease of construction in the remote location. A raised deck and flooring system accommodate the site’s storm water drainage requirements and is less intrusive on the bedrock. Expansive shade to external areas is provided by the flyover roof, a cost effective way to significantly reduce room temperatures and reliance on mechanical services. Light and shade can be tailored at different times of the day, and buildings can be opened up in clustered groups to maximise cross ventilation whilst maintaining weather protection.

Roebourne’s older residents often become victims of personal and property crime, but don’t want to leave the community in order to receive care. YFACC is a socially sustainable solution that allows the elderly to remain in town, and have their needs met in a safe and culturally sensitive setting. Since opening, the facility has reached full occupancy, testimony to the success of the design intent.

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