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December 2018

Group of people with bishop jpeg Mercy Health Group CEO Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen, Wadawurrung traditional custodian Bonnie Chew, Mercy Health board chair Julien O’Connell, Sr Elizabeth Moloney, Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird, Wadawurrung elder and traditional custodian Albert Fagan, Sr Berenice Kerr and Mercy Health chief operating officer Adjunct Professor Linda Mellors.

Community approach to residential aged care

Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird has officially opened and blessed Mercy Place Ballarat.

The residence is Mercy Health’s first purpose-built home around a new community-centred approach to aged care.

It welcomed its first residents in September.

Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cornelissen said Mercy Place Ballarat provided an alternative to traditional aged care.

‘Mercy Health strongly believes that people, no matter what stage in life they are at, need to be connected to the community to flourish,’ Adjunct Professor Cornelissen says.

‘The small households at Mercy Place Ballarat are designed to promote meaningful living and alleviate the loneliness, isolation and boredom that people living in aged care can often feel.’

Mercy Place Ballarat is made up of 14 small households.

Each household caters for eight residents and has its own front door entry, kitchen, living area and outdoor space.

Residents retain as much independence as they want, including choosing the time they wake up and helping plan the weekly menu for their household.

‘The building has been designed for people living with dementia and for people with restricted mobility.

‘Residents can find all they need, including a grocer, café, pub, wellness centre, chapel, and more, right outside their front door – meaning they can safely and independently go out within the home.’

Mercy Place Ballarat also has spaces available for visiting health professionals, a children’s playground and a large garden.

The Ballarat community is encouraged to enjoy all of these communal spaces with residents and their families.