Ningana aged care facility, Bentley

Health and aged care

  • Description

    124 bed dementia-specific aged and palliative care facility

  • Services

    Full service architecture and interior design

  • Location

    Bentley, WA

  • Client

    SwanCare

  • Status

    current - construction to commence first quarter 2018

Cameron Chisholm Nicol are currently delivering a benchmark 124 bed aged care facility for SwanCare at their existing Bentley campus.

The design is informed by our ongoing research into the complex needs of aged care, dementia and palliative care. The biggest issue for aged care residents is disorientation, which can lead to confusion and distress. Lack of engagement is another challenge. This places stress on staff, who need to spend much of their time and resources managing the residents. The objective is to create a safe, secure and engaging environment that is mutually supportive of both residents and the people who care for them.

Our design concept starts by breaking down space into legible, familiar components. A whole-of-building approach uses the analogy of a home /street /neighbourhood /village /town. Each room (‘home’) is clustered in a group of 8-10 on a short corridor (a ‘street’), with adjacent dedicated living, dining and kitchenette spaces (the ‘neighbourhood’). Four ‘neighbourhoods’ create a ‘village’ on each of the four floors. The entire building becomes the ‘town’, centred on an active central courtyard. Communal/public spaces and amenities are on the ground floor (the ‘town’ centre). These include an allied services hub; a hairdresser; a refurbished café; and multiple landscaped outdoor spaces. The ground floor also houses a commercial kitchen and laundry, and has access to basement parking.

Navigation is aided by sensory cues which accommodate differing levels of cognitive impairment. Sight, hearing and touch are engaged to assist residents with understanding where they are, and finding where they want to go. Decision points are kept to a minimum, and alcoves provide inviting spaces to sit, watch and interact.

The nursing nodes support the cluster model of operational care, with strategic views across resident living area to reduce incident response times and increase safety. Each cluster is serviced by a discrete back-of-house area which is aligned to the vertical transport core, and houses trolleys, stores, clean and dirty laundry areas, and the staff hub. Decorative screens allow staff to maintain a visual connection with the residents, whilst clearly delineating the gradation between public and private staff and resident spaces.

Close attention has been paid to built form orientation, which is skewed to prioritise sun penetration and ventilation into the communal and public spaces. Landscaping has been developed in tandem with the architecture to achieve close connections between indoor and outdoor spaces, and carry through the street / neighbourhood / village concept.

A pedestrian-friendly link connects to the existing Kingia and Tandara aged care facilities to the east. Consideration has also been given to a future connection to a proposed Health and Wellness centre to the west, which will service the next generation of aged care residents.

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