IN FOCUS: A great space for the best of care

Manor Court Aged Care. (Photo supplied)

By Carole Levy

Demand for dementia care continues to increase each year, but the managing director of Manor Court Aged Care, Ross Smith, believes dedicated building design and dementia-related care have failed to keep pace with growth.

He explains how Manor Court Aged Care, Werribee’s leading community not-for-profit residential aged-care facility, tackled this important issue.

“First we sought the services of architects Bryant Alsop to redesign our memory support unit,” Mr Smith says.

“We asked them to incorporate current best practice in building design, instructing them to create large open spaces to support movement and safety, to create links to the past and to provide activity areas and spaces for residents to be alone.”

When building started in May, it was expected to be a 10-week project, but it was finished a week early.

“Landbuild from Williams Landing structured the build to cause minimum disruption to our residents,” Mr Smith says. “A lot of building components were manufactured off site to ensure there were no delays – and there weren’t. Impressively, it was completed a week earlier and exceeded our expectations.”

The $400,000 upgrade was enhanced through a $20,000 donation to replace the furniture from Werribee Rotary.

“There’s no use putting old furniture into a new building, so this wonderful donation allowed us to fit it out with brand-new furniture,” Mr Smith says. “We are thrilled with the new facility.”

The memory support unit now has large open spaces to allow residents to see and be seen – and there’s additional support of safe movement for wandering residents.

Large murals decorate walls and create a pleasing outdoor feel, while there are two dedicated rooms for men’s and women’s activities.

Resident comfort was considered throughout the process, Mr Smith says.

“Dementia patients like the security of having things from the past around them,” he says.

“So we have several old features to create memory links, a sense of comfort and to cushion the effects of new surrounds. These include an old red phone box from the 1960s, as well as old signs and photos.”

People are welcome to book a tour of the memory support unit – call reception to arrange.


Manor Court Aged Care, 5 Hogan Grove, Werribee. Inquiries: 9742 0699

Manor Court Aged Care. (Photo supplied)
Manor Court Aged Care. (Photo supplied)