The new $34M, 120-bed Shepparton Villages’ Maculata Place is redefining what aged care facilities are and offers a real sense of home and community for the residents.
It is easy to see that those who have had a hand in designing and creating the concept for the building have really given thought to the future of aged care, the needs of the current residents and those of the ageing population across the region.
Rather than a typical institutionalised aged care facility Maculata Place offers a whole new experience for residents and their families that reflects life outside the walls.
As you enter the magnificent foyer of Macualta Place, you are swept along into large open aired lounge and communal dining areas, all bordered by floor to ceiling glass windows. The bright furniture and décor is a delight to the eye; fresh, modern and inviting.
There is ample space to sit and linger over a meal or a cup of tea, to chat with friends or find a quite nook for reading or reflection.
As you move into the corridors - aptly named as streets – you get a sense that you are about to enter a neighbourhood.
Framed black and white photographs of scenes in and around Shepparton adorn the walls, evoking memories for residents and visitors alike.
A series of artworks from Shepparton High School is the first of a 12 month rotating art exhibition featured on walls upstairs and downstairs.
Meandering past these works, you enter either Woodhouse Lane (downstairs) or Turnour Terrace (upstairs) where residents homes are distinguished by individual letterboxes and memory boxes at the entry, with a doorbell to each home to provide privacy and dignity for residents at all times.
“It’s built like a community. The rooms are the resident’s homes, the corridors are the streets, the dining areas are the cafés and the social areas are the community hubs.
“We want the residents and their families to come in and be a part of a community,” Kerri Rivett, CEO said.
Huge 50 inch televisions in every room provide access to the SWIFT network – a Foxtel for seniors - that stores 700 movies, allows residents to see photos and messages sent from their families, as well provide personalised messages to residents to remind them of an appointment, outing or the meals menu for the day.
Large king singe beds with padded bedheads and matching soft furnishings, storage galore and a large private bathroom is home for the residents of Maculata Place.
Management of the phone system is the responsibility of the staff at Macualta Place – so there is no more dealing with telephone providers for the residents. Wi-fi access for residents and visitor is on a separate loop to the office based wi-fi and there is overhead lifting to assist residents who require assistance.
Dining at Maculata Place is an experience in itself – with the dining areas built around large kitchens that are for resident and family use.
“Whilst we have a full meals services that offers menu options at lunch and dinner, we also want residents to feel right at home and whip up a batch of scones if they wish, or spend some time cooking in the kitchen with their friends and family or our staff, or just come and make a cup of tea,” Ms Rivett said.
The plaza at the front of the building is home to a fully operational hair salon, nail bar, doctor’s clinic and gym.
There is a beautifully appointed private dining room with adjoining balcony for resident use for special occasions and there are coffee machines and snacks in various kitchen nooks for families, visitors and resident to access any time they wish.
The lounge areas are complete with nick-knacks, throw rugs and luxurious pillows scattered about the colourful furniture – and all you want to do is sink in to one of the high backed chairs.
The 30 bed high care unit draws you in with its bright colors and lack of institutionalised locked doors and directive signage. In fact, residents can roam freely through this wing, enjoying the magnificent outdoor courtyard, the dining and lounge areas or take advantage of the quiet lounges. There is just one locked door in and out of this area enabling freedom of movement for those with cognitive impairment.
The outside beckons with delightful landscaping, outdoor eating and activity areas, and comfortable furniture beckons you to pop outside and enjoy the delights of the striking outdoor living areas.
There are four internal courtyards in the building each with a specific theme and purpose.
The Patch is located in the heart of Bertram House. All residents’ rooms, along with the dining room face onto this beautifully crafted tactile courtyard which includes water features, shaded seating and garden beds.
The Griffiths Family Café courtyard immediately adjoins the dining room. It’s designed to provide an al-fresco feel with tables and umbrellas so that residents can take their meals into the courtyard and enjoy the outdoors as they dine.
The Conservatory adjoins the main lounge and is a very generously proportioned space that includes a double-sided fireplace that is shared with the lounge. Residents can sit in this paved space and enjoy the fire (encased behind glass for safety purposes).
This courtyard contains a lovely water feature and residents can enjoy a relaxed and therapeutic space.
The Rotary Club of Shepparton Garden Courtyard is a gardener’s delight.
It features a dozen elevated, self-watering garden beds that are available for residents to ‘grow their own.’ This will be an area of high resident engagement (and probably competition!). There is also a good sized gardening storage area at the northern end of the courtyard.
And if those areas are not enough to tempt you, there’s an outdoor rotunda and barbecue area and a rather palatial chook house that some lucky cluckers will be able to call home!
Macualta Place is more than an aged care facility; it is a community, a home and a beautiful space to live.