New regional funding to transform Thompson House

Castlemaine Health residents are set to benefit from new funding announced as part of the Government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

Thompson House, one of Castlemaine Health’s on site residential aged care facilities, is the recipient of $100,000 awarded through round four of the Government’s regional health funding. The funds will be used to project plan transformation of Thompson House into a dementia-friendly residence.

Raquel Knights, Thompson House Nurse Unit Manager, said: “We are beyond excited about what’s to come. These funds will allow us to kick-start plans for a complete refurbishment and deliver a dementia-friendly living environment for our residents.”

Thompson House opened as a residential aged care home twenty years ago. Since that time, the profile of residents in Thompson House with dementia or other forms of age-related cognitive decline has increased. This reflects the broader shift in the community. According to Dementia Australia, there are now 459,000 people in Australia living with all forms of dementia. Without a major medical breakthrough this figure is projected to increase to 1,076,000 people by 2058.

Ms Knight said: “Dementia-friendly design plays a huge part in health and wellbeing, and quality of life for people living with dementia. The plans we submitted as part of the funding application showed the clear benefits of what we’re trying to achieve for our residents. Our understanding of how good design supports wellbeing for people living with dementia have moved on so much since Thompson House was built. We’re thrilled to be able to use those principles to redesign Thompson House for our residents.”

The transformation will reshape Thompson House’s internal and outdoor spaces. Corridor ‘dead-ends’ will be removed and replaced with a continuous walking track so residents don’t get lost or stuck. Office space will be minimised so it doesn’t intrude into the living environment. Living space will be freed up to create more room for residents, and the dining experience will be improved. Shared rooms will all be converted to singles. A new entrance is also part of the plan.

Ian Fisher, CEO said: “The $100k will fund project planning, costings and scope of works over the next nine months. At the end of that process, we’ll have all the detail we need to progress that work with the support of the Government. I’m confident that this is the start of a journey that will see Castlemaine Health deliver an outstanding dementia-friendly residence for our community in the next five years.”

More information about the RHIF

The Victorian Government established the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund in 2016 to improve health services and agencies in rural and regional Victoria. The funding is available to expand capacity, improve safety, quality and efficiency and deliver better care to patients, no matter where they live.

You can read more about the Government’s announcement of Extra upgrades for Victoria’s aged care facilities online.

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