WONTHAGGI will be home to a dementia specific unit under plans currently being reviewed by the Bass Coast Shire Council.

Rose Lodge plans to construct a 20-bed memory support unit after being successful in the Department of Health 2020 bed allocation rounds.

The bedrooms will include ensuites and will be designed to provide residents living with dementia the support they need.

Rose Lodge chief executive Malcolm Price said the allocation would be instrumental in providing residents living with dementia the assistance required.

“This allows us to be more specific in the area and help people with dementia. It will benefit everyone and give families respite,” Mr Price said.

“It’s really good for the Bass Coast area and beyond. It now gives families the ability to have somewhere specific [for dementia],” he said.

Some of the ensuites will feature interconnecting doors to accommodate couples; there will also be large communal living areas with lounges, dining rooms, kitchenettes, activities rooms, medical consulting room, therapy room, unobtrusive staff administration desks, smaller domestic laundry for residents’ personal use, overnight accommodation for families, a palliative care area, library, sheltered courtyards and a landscaped garden.

Rose Lodge will offer a secure environment and gardens will have shading that will provide a range of passive leisure options and communal seating to create a calming ambience.

“On a lovely day, because the facility will be safe and secure, it will be nice to have the front and back doors open and enjoy the outside. It’s really good to have a standalone unit for dementia residents,” Mr Price said.

The flowing grounds of the outdoor design will incorporate safe and protected features to meet the specific needs of each resident living with dementia.

The facility will include soft fall paths with no dead-ends, produce gardens, chickens, and secure water features creating an area of interest and tranquillity.

“They get familiar surroundings, so they aren’t in one room on a Monday night and another the next night. Often, relocating residents who have severe dementia can accelerate the problem,” Mr Price said.

Rose Lodge will implement techniques to reduce agitation and confusion of those with dementia in the memory support unit, including:

• Memory aids including photos and furniture;

• Appropriate signage;

• Provide risk-free areas;

• Use of technology to stimulate memory sensors; and

• Quiet areas to reduce over-stimulation.

The federal government undertakes an approval round annually, and applicants are invited to apply for aged care beds in many categories. Beds are granted depending on the aged care population ratios in the facility’s LGA.

Rose Lodge was also granted a $1m grant to assist in the construction of the new facility.

Plans for the project are with Bass Coast Council Shire awaiting approval so Rose Lodge can go to tender for the project.