Construction works has commenced on regional NSW’s first Memory Support Village, an innovative concept that will address the pressing need for dementia care in Port Macquarie and surrounds.
St Agnes’ Catholic Parish Chief Executive Officer Adam Spencer said the beginning of works is the realisation of years of planning to address this community need.
“In 2008 we began planning for the vacant land next to our Emmaus residential care service on Colonel Barney Drive to best address the aged care needs of our community.”
“With Port Macquarie’s increasing aged population and third highest prevalence rate of dementia in NSW, we focused on developing the concept of a residential village based on a proven, innovative model of care specific to the needs of people with dementia,” Mr Spencer said.
“Our planning and research informed us in developing the concept and design of the Memory Support Village, which will become the next level in responding to a growing demand for this specialised area of aged care. Initial works has begun, which involves preparation of the land for the next stage of construction,” Mr Spencer said.
“Both our Federal and State Government representatives are well aware of this local need for dementia care and are supportive of our approach to deliver this innovative model to our community.”
In October last year the Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan announced that the project was successful in $6.5 million in funding under the Building Better Regions Fund.
“This inspiring project will be the first of its kind on the NSW Mid North Coast and in regional NSW, accommodating 94 residents in 12 homes set within a village-style environment. It has been designed with resident wellbeing in mind, providing an environment which offers engagement, social interaction and time outdoors designed to improve the quality of life of residents,” Mr Conaghan said.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams had previously announced $5 million in funding for the Memory Support Village Community Centre, which is an integral component of the project.
“The funding will help build the Community Centre in the village, which houses all the social amenities that make this facility unique.”
“Residents will be able to enjoy a café, wellness centre with beauty and massage; arts and crafts, a music room, library, cinema, GP clinic and a virtual reality lounge,” Mrs Williams said.
“The commencement of works on this project is truly a milestone for the Parish as we become another step closer to ensuring the NSW Mid North Coast becomes a lighthouse for dementia care in Australia. It is with great anticipation that we expect the project’s completion by mid-2023,” Mr Spencer concluded
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