The latest research suggests that smaller environments provide a better quality of life for people living with dementia and complex care needs. Based on this research, a remarkable innovation by aged care provider Synovum Care is bringing a new model of care to the table in the form of ‘small scale living’.
Small scale living is aged care in a domestic setting. Between six and eight residents live in a house or apartment that includes a functional kitchen, laundry, and an open plan lounge and dining room. Residents wake up when their eyes open naturally. They can help plan and prepare meals. They go to bed when tired, often after enjoying a nightcap or cuppa. They have full freedom of movement in their home, supported by House Companions recruited based on the company’s values of individuality, relationships, community, respect and empathy.
A comprehensive clinical team is also on hand when required. Residents in Synovum Care’s first small scale development experienced dramatic improvements in sleep, appetite and behaviour challenges in response to unmet needs. Synovum Care is developing small scale apartments at their multicultural and inclusive care community in Bexley in Sydney’s south with the first one due to open in mid-2017. They are also developing a small scale village in Bellmere QLD which will be the first of its kind in the world.