New technology-enabled homes for people with disability in Melbourne
The two new homes in Mooroolbark, east of Melbourne are a part of an $11 million investment by the organisation, which is a division of St John of God Health Care, in specialist disability housing which includes 10 new homes being built across five parcels of land in Melbourne.
St John of God Health Care Group Director of Community Services, Lisa Evans said the new homes brought much needed, modern accommodation options for people with disability.
“These homes have been built to a fully accessible specialist disability accommodation standard set by the NDIS, so the design features and size of the communal spaces such as the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as the bedrooms, are easy to move around in,” she said.
“We have also overlaid the design with a host of assistive technology which we know, from previous builds, improves the quality of life and independence of the people with disability.”
Technologies include a predictive analytical platform to provide data insights, notifications and alerts, allowing clients to be independent while caregivers can monitor their safety, wellbeing and the effectiveness of support.
The new homes have been shaped by quantitative research conducted on a five-bedroom technology-enabled home the organisation built in 2019 in Brighton East, south of Melbourne.
This home was designed for five people with complex intellectual disabilities. As part of the build, Deakin University was asked to conduct research to determine how technology in the home impacted the lives of the clients and caregivers.
The findings from that research demonstrated that assistive technology and house design allowed clients to live a more independent lifestyle and have greater autonomy over their own lives and greater quality of life.
It also showed that caregivers experienced a greater sense of job satisfaction, with one caregiver saying, “it was just a house before, but now it’s really a home”.
“For a parent who has a child with disability, deciding to find a speciality disability accommodation option for them and entrust somebody else with their care is without a doubt the biggest thing they will ever do in their lifetime,” Lisa said.
“We take that trust very seriously and really understand that partnership. We have built these homes so that they are welcoming, that there is the option of having some private guest space but we have the shared living areas so that clients and their loved ones can spend time together and feel part of the bigger family.”
St John of God Marillac’s next two new specialist disability accommodation homes, located west of Melbourne, are expected to be finished in 2023.
New home features:
- Fully accessible
- Three bedrooms
- Three bathrooms (all ensuite)
- Open plan living
- Outdoor BBQ area
- Caregiver sleeping room for overnight stays
- A predictive analytical platform to provide data insights, notifications and alerts, allows residents to be independent while caregivers can monitor their safety, wellbeing and the effectiveness of support.