New village style accommodation for people with an intellectual disability who have special needs associated with aging was opened at Hamlyn Terrace on the Central Coast today.
The village, which has been named by residents as Casuarina Grove, was officially opened by the Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, along with the Member for Wyong, David Harris.
"The accommodation, which consists of 10 houses each with 10 bedrooms and an en-suite to each bedroom, is the first village for people with an intellectual disability in NSW that caters specifically for aged related needs," Mr Primrose said.
"What is unique about this development is that it shows how far we have come in terms of care that people with an intellectual disability are living as long lives as any other people in the community.
"As such, we need to provide adequate support for people with a disability well into their 70s, 80s and 90s.
"This $42 million project replaces the Peat Island Center in the Hawkesbury, which has now been closed."
Mr Harris welcomed the opening of Casuarina Grove and said the new accommodation would also support a number of local jobs.
"Each unit is staffed by assistants in nursing and registered nurses, many of whom have transferred from Peat Island, which means the close relationship between carers and residents has been maintained," Mr Harris said.
"I have seen this project develop from the beginning and am proud to be able to attend the opening today and see this high-quality accommodation replace the outdated facilities at Peat Island.
"Casuarina Grove will provide residents with considerable specialized support, including 24-hour nursing care, in a modern and sociable environment."
Mr Primrose said that the unique nature of the specialized service was that direct care services were being delivered by nursing staff trained in both disability services standards and aged care standards.
"This ensures that each individual's disability and aged related needs are met.
"The closure of large residential centers and their replacement with contemporary accommodation targeted to individual needs represents real progress in improving the quality of life for many people with a disability and their families," Mr Primrose said.
Mr Primrose said that at Casuarina Grove, each person had their own bedroom and ensuite facilities and each home had its own kitchen, a dining room and lounge area as well as a second living area for entertaining visitors or for use as a quiet area.
"Each of the 10 homes also has an outdoor entertaining area and large bathroom with a state of the art specialized spa bath.
"Casuarina Grove also has a sensory room, a multi purpose room for activities or staff training and various outdoor recreational spaces."
Under the second five-year phase of Stronger Together, the NSW Government's 10-year initiative to improve disability services, all large residential centers will be replaced with flexible accommodation including specialist homes for people with complex needs.
Mr Primrose said that the Riverside Center at Orange would close in mid-2013 and be replaced with specialist services for people with complex behavioral needs and complex health needs in Orange and several group homes across NSW.
"The government plans to close the Rydalmere and Westmead residences by the end of June 2015 and the Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra Centers by the end of June 2018 along with the 15 centers operated by non government organizations."
In 2009 the NSW Government replaced the Grosvenor Center with group homes and respite units on an adjacent site at Summer Hill and recently closed the Lachlan Center at North Ryde and replaced it with a new statewide specialist service providing contemporary supported accommodation in a community setting for people with complex behavioral needs.
The Peat Island Center was one of the longest-held government-operated centers owned by aging, Disability and Home Care. Many of the structures were built between 1904 and 1908 and were no longer suitable for aged residents.
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