An innovative dementia-specific community centre has received a $5 million boost thanks to the state government.
The state government announced the $5 million funding for Emmaus Memory Support Community Centre on Tuesday (October 27).
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she believed the project was not just a NSW-first but an Australian-first.
The Premier said she was absolutely convinced the learnings here and what would happen as a result of this investment would inspire us to change the way we dealt with aged care and inspire us to be more compassionate in the way we treated people with dementia.
She described the funding as "a gesture of compassion" on behalf of the people of NSW.
Ms Berejiklian said the funding was a culmination of St Agnes' Care & Lifestyle's vision coupled with Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams' advocacy.
The Emmaus Memory Support Community Centre, which will be a hub for residents and the community, is the first stage in a $30 million memory support village.
The community centre will provide respite care, memory support programs and day services for people with dementia and other ageing issues.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said the building of the Emmaus Memory Support Community Centre was the first step in creating the village, which would be home to 93 residents.
She said the memory support community centre would house all the social amenities that made this facility unique.
"Residents will be able to enjoy a cafe, wellness centre with beauty and massage, arts and crafts, a music room, library, cinema, GP clinic, virtual reality lounge and more," Mrs Williams said.
St Agnes' Catholic Parish chief executive officer Adam Spencer said the approach was about allowing freedom to people living with dementia but managing risk in a way that was not obvious.
"To the outside, some of the features, like cafes and dining rooms and a theatre, will appear quite standard, but the difference is we can reduce the risk for people with dementia to have freedom amongst this community centre," he said.
Research shows this type of model lowers challenging behaviours and other clinical impacts.
The dementia-specific community centre will provide the anchor for the residential component.
Emmaus Memory Support Village will eventually have 12 uniquely stylised homes with residents grouped together by their shared life experiences and interests.
There will be no wards in the village, which will instead have the appearance of a regular suburb with shops and cafes to be staffed by carers.
St Agnes' Care & Lifestyle looked across the world at best practice in dementia care.
The project, inspired by the Hogeweyk dementia village concept pioneered in The Netherlands, will offer a shift away from traditional models of dementia care in Australia.
Emmaus Memory Support Village has planning approval.
Detailed design completion and the tender process will come next, followed by the building work.
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