April 15, 2010

AUSTRALIA: Japanese delegation to visit supported living neighbourhood

. GLEBE, SYDNEY, NSW / Australian Aging Agenda / Latest News / April 15, 2010 An international spotlight will shine on supported living provider, Tall Trees, next week when a delegation of 28 Japanese visitors tour its Rochedale facility in outer Brisbane, to learn more about the model. The facility will serve as a leading example of best practice in Australian aged care, with a focus on independent living. “Tall Trees is different to other aged care models as we offer independent living,” said activities coordinator, Cathie Hanney. “The residents come and go whenever they like and we promote a community within the village. We have great respect for older people and value their independence, what they have gone through in life and the fact that they’ve chosen to live out their third age with us. I would hope that’s why [our Japanese visitors] are coming here.” A relatively new concept in Australia, supported living allows seniors to move into their own unit within a village-style community and receive different levels of care depending on their personal needs. Residents at Tall Trees communities are able to live in self-contained units with their partners, and can opt for completely personalised levels of care. The Japanese delegation will tour the Queensland facility, enjoy a typical Australian morning tea with the residents and be entertained by a resident choir which will sing a few Aussie classics. Speakers will also address the group and offer practical advice regarding the supported living model. “The coming generations of retirees will demand more out of their senior years, and as such many will want to eschew the traditional care models that have become so stigmatised," she said. "That’s why facilities like ours are really getting noticed– because people want choice, where previously it hasn’t really been available.” Interest from Japan “is not only a positive indictment on the concept of supported living – it’s a positive indictment on what we’re doing here at Tall Trees”. “We are very pleased that the [delegation] would consider having a look at Tall Trees to take our ideas on board, to take back to Japan,” Ms Hanney said. [rc] Photos by courtesy of Tall Trees © The Intermedia Group