A new era for aged care to begin in Strathalbyn

(from left to right) Georgina Downer - Liberal candidate for Mayo,  Hon Stephen Wade MLC  - Minister for Health and Wellbeing,  Josh Teague  - Member for Heysen,  Veera Mustonen  - GCMA Executive Director LifeLab and  Julianne Parkinson  - GCMA Chief Executive Officer

(from left to right) Georgina Downer - Liberal candidate for Mayo, Hon Stephen Wade MLC - Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Josh Teague - Member for Heysen, Veera Mustonen - GCMA Executive Director LifeLab and Julianne Parkinson - GCMA Chief Executive Officer

Aged care residents in Strathalbyn will be part of a nation-leading initiative which will see them co-design a new aged care precinct to better meet their needs now and into the future.

Delivering on its commitment to reopen Kalimna, the Marshall Liberal Government today announced it had engaged the Global Centre for Modern Ageing (GCMA) to take Strathalbyn to the forefront of modern ageing in Australia and the world.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the appointment marked a milestone in the delivery of world-leading aged care at Strathalbyn.

“In the 1980s, Strathalbyn’s commitment to aged care saw Kalimna built, starting a tradition of providing community led, connected and co-operative aged accommodation,” Minister Wade said.

“The Strathalbyn community will now build on that legacy - with the $12 million upgrade of the Strathalbyn and District Aged Care Facility and the reactivation of Kalimna presenting an opportunity to redesign the delivery of aged care in South Australia.

“In the shadow of Oakden, we are not waiting for the findings of the Aged Care Royal Commission to act. We want to deliver best practice care to our elderly South Australians today and we know that intimately involving them in the design of their accommodation is the best way to ensure they live and age well.

“The GCMA is a key organisation operating in this space and brings expertise in co-design and co-creation. I’m delighted they are teaming up with another leader in this space, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, to engage with the community and clinicians in this exciting project.

“Their findings will not only inform the future design of the new Strathalbyn aged care precinct, but a broader aged care model of care for South Australians.

“This is a game-changer for how we care for older Australians.

More than 150 people from the Strathalbyn community are expected to be involved in GCMA’s engagement, including future residents, health practitioners and service providers.

Member for Heysen Josh Teague said residents and community members will be asked to take part in a series of interviews, co-design sessions and an open house community forum on 27 March.

The community has worked diligently towards these goals, first to reopen Kalimna, and secondly to secure the future of aged care at Strathalbyn. Together, we have advocated for these outcomes,” Mr Teague said.

“We’re doing what we said we would do. I now encourage everyone to participate in the commissioning and co-design process, carrying on the Kalimna tradition.

“We are honoured to be able to deliver this project to the people of Strathalbyn.”

Chief Executive Officer of GCMA, Julianne Parkinson, said the co-design initiative, which will be led by Veera Mustonen, is about exploring how people can age well and continue being connected to the community.

“At the core of this project is a commitment to develop a place that the community values - where residents want to live, and families want to visit.

“We know from experience that if you co-create the journey with people, they are much more likely to enjoy the process of transitioning to a new environment.

“Asking residents about their life and what will make a difference to them will take this facility from a nursing home to something much more special.”

In addition to Kalimna itself, the current 56-bed aged care facility will be extended by 36 beds, bringing it to a total of 92 aged care beds.

The State Government has committed $8 million for 24 beds, while the Federal Government will fund the remaining 12 beds at a cost of nearly $4 million.

Wiltshire & Swain Architects have been awarded the architectural contract for the facility and will work closely with GCMA.

The State Government today also released the business case into the future of the Kalimna site and has ruled out using the site as a car park, as recommended.

Kalimna is an extraordinarily valuable asset for the local community. The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to ensuring that Kalimna is reopened and reinvigorated, and will never accept that it should be anything less or, as the business case finds, a carpark,” Minister Wade said.

“That is not in the interests of the local community. I look forward to a bright future for Kalimna as part of the development of this exciting health precinct in Strathalbyn.”

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact Nicola Barr, nicola.barr@gcma.net.au or 0422 594 615.