Synovum Care Wynyard Tasmania forges a new direction in aged care

In 2014, Synovum Care Wynyard implemented an Australian first in aged care with the development of two ‘small scale living’ houses. The main centre is a traditional style nursing home with a total of 56 residents. The houses each have 7 ensuite bedrooms, an open plan dining and lounge area and a fully accessible and functional kitchen and laundry. The model was inspired by de Hogeweyk, a dementia friendly village in the Netherlands, and adapted for the Australian lifestyle, after research by our leadership team in Australia which included a visit to de Hogeweyk. With the support of House Companions, residents are supported in all aspects of their daily living activities to the extent that they are able and wish to be involved. This might include planning menus, grocery shopping, meal preparation, setting and clearing the table and washing up. The guiding rules are that residents wake up when their eyes open naturally and go to bed when they’re tired. They can return to bed after breakfast or stay in their pyjamas until the afternoon. There are no set mealtimes – it depends on the residents so can differ day to day. Some of the benefits to residents include reduced medications, better quality sleep and weight gain – even residents termed too challenging by others have settled extremely well into our small scale community in Wynyard.

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