- Article by Online Contributor
The CEO of Queensland aged care facility NewDirection Care Bellmere, Natasha Chadwick, has been named Australian Business Woman of the Year 2019 for pioneering a new approach to aged care.
As founder and CEO Chadwick has spent the past seven years shaking up the aged care sector by creating a world-class ‘micro-town’ residential community for the elderly and those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs.
NewDirection Care Bellmere allows residents to be more involved in their individual daily routine and decision making and to help with cooking and other household chores. Freedom of movement and access to the outdoor spaces and the wider community provides opportunities for our residents to socially interact.
The facility includes a corner store, café, cinema, hair salon, barber shop, music room and a wellness centre featuring a gym, spa, dental and GP facilities. The ‘microtown’ has 17 uniquely designed houses home to 120 residents.
Each home is designed to be stylish, functional, and caters specifically to the residents’ individual needs. Every house has an individual style be it country living, modern urban, traditional or progressive to suit whatever compliments a resident’s current lifestyle.
Chadwick says, “Traditional aged care facilities are built around a regimented structure. Meal times, activity hours and sleeping periods are often mandated for residents in large scale care facilities. We saw an opportunity to flip this model around: instead of regimented schedules, NewDirection Care supports the autonomy of its residents.
“Residents decide when they get up in the morning, when they go to bed in the evening, when they eat and when they socialise so as not to oppose personal autonomy. Use of outdoor spaces is encouraged, and freedom of movement for residents is paramount to NewDirection Care’s success as an individualised care community.”