New innovative housing sets benchmark for specialist disability accommodation

Posted 4 years ago by Nicole Pope
The five-bedroom home is located in East Brighton and is equipped with assistive technology [Source: Supplied]
The five-bedroom home is located in East Brighton and is equipped with assistive technology [Source: Supplied]

Clients living with complex intellectual disability and receiving support from Melbourne-based disability service provider, St John of God Accord can now move into new and innovative accommodation.

Five clients supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will move into the five-bedroom home located in East Brighton, which boasts assistive technology to improve independence, with another 10 houses to be developed in coming years.

The provider invested $875,000 into building the house, on land gifted by the Daughters of Charity and has pledged an $11.6 million investment to set a blueprint for future housing.

Director of Community Services at St John of God Health Care Group, Kevin Taylor is thrilled to offer this specialist disability accommodation to the organisation’s valued clients.

“We are really proud and excited to welcome our clients into their new home this month and see the difference the design and technologies within the house have on their lives over the weeks, months and years to come,” he says.

“The house design creates safe spaces inside and outside, incorporates assistive technology to improve the independence and dignity of each person and enables the use of infrastructure to assist in supporting residents’ long term needs as they age.

“We’re looking forward to seeing our residents take control over their lives in ways not previously possible and experience greater choice and independence.”

HomeStay is one of the organisations St John of God Accord partnered with to bring the housing to life.

Chief Executive Officer of HomeStay, Philippa Lewis says the technology was specifically designed to match the cognitive abilities of residents.

“Our Caring Intelligent Home system coordinates discrete sensors, an emergency hub, personal alarms and apps to offer residents increased choice, control and independence in their daily activities.

“Residents can use the MyDay application, a simple and easy-to-use app, to manage their day with greater independence in line with their abilities by promoting decision making and mental stimulation, offering different methods of communication and reducing anxiety.

Ms Lewis also says the Carers Companion App allows efficient monitoring and open communication and access to information to authorised care professionals.

The planning phase has begun for an additional 10 duplex homes across five sites in Melbourne.

“We know there is unmet need across the community and this need will grow as families, particularly those with ageing parents, look to secure suitable long-term accommodation and services for their loved ones,” Mr Taylor says.

He says these homes will not only help meet that demand but also offer new opportunities for people by providing an environment where they feel safe, reach their potential and pursue their interests.

St John of God Accord also partnered with Samsung, Quantify Technology, BCDS Group, Philips Lighting and WorkM8 to bring assistive technologies into the homes, including smart home innovations, digital processes, colour therapy and access control.  

The house’s design and the effectiveness of technology will be assessed by Deakin University to help inform the development of future housing.

You can find more information on the new homes here.