Futureproofing! Life Care addresses the future needs of Aged Care in Adelaide

Published: 18 Jul 2017


Forward projections anticipate longer life expectancy for Australians, coupled with a greater number of the population aged 65 and over.

In 1974 this age group was around 80,000 in numbers. In 2054, it is projected nearly 2 million Australians will be aged 85 and over.

Closer to home, over the next ten years, 51,000 more people aged over 70 will be living in Adelaide, taking that total to 200,818 or 30% more than today.

“We are facing a growth bubble in the aged,” said Life Care CEO Allen Candy. “This is going to drive demand for Independent Living Units (ILU) and Aged Care Facilities across Adelaide with demand for ILUs expected to reach 300 per year over the next decade.”

Life Care has recently made an application to the South Australian government to address this demand through its Masterplan Development.

Mr Candy said Life Care’s future plan would meet only 9% of forecast demand for independent care and 10% of aged care beds over the next 10 years in Adelaide.

What is Life Care’s future plan?

Life Care has undertaken significant research to better understand the needs and wants of the future generation of aging Adelaide residents. We’ve also researched world’s best practice in building design and aged care.

What we do know, said Allen, is that aged care accommodation in Adelaide is outdated and buildings are old. “Many were built in the 70’s and have not been upgraded.

 “Life Care’s Masterplan vision is based on three key beliefs:

  1. That people who are aging and in need of care should be able to remain in the communities where they have spent most of their lives and close to other family members
  2. To keep aging couples as close together as possible, not separating them when one becomes too ill to remain in the home
  3. To integrate aging people, not isolate them

“We’re considering the whole family unit, not just the person,” said Allen. “Care often involves the entire family, so it makes sense to keep people as close together as possible.

“For example, we want to give a husband and wife options, so one can move from assisted living in their own home to full nursing care just across the courtyard if needed; not across the other side of the city.

“Our Masterplan is focused on providing care in well designed, modern, campus style facilities, in line with international best practice – integrated care, when and where people need it and in an environment where people can continue to live every day with purpose, dignity and care.”

What is Life Care proposing to build?

We are proposing the development of three state-of-the-art aged care campuses to be located in key inner suburbs of Adelaide including Norwood, Glen Osmond and Joslin.

Each campus includes an integrated combination of living styles, so people can move from one to the next depending on the level of care required, including: Independent Living Units; Serviced apartments; and Aged care beds – full nursing care.

Each campus will have modern community spaces such as: a home cinema, lounge/bar area, café and restaurants, dining rooms, library, games room, health and fitness facility, workshop, courtyard gardens, multi-faith chapels and personal services.  

Consulting rooms for visiting specialists, doctors and allied health professionals will also be provided.

What is the timing around delivery of these new aged care campuses?

We are right at the very beginning of the planning process,” said Allen Candy.

In March 2017, the SA Government gazetted a separate set of provisions under the guidelines for Major Projects - specifically developed for the aged care sector.

“Our interpretation of the release of these special provisions, is that the government understands the specific nature of this sector and the significant issues emerging with demand in the coming years,” said Allen.

“Life Care has utilised these special provisions to deliver an application to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC) for its Master Plan development.

“We anticipate the DAC will consider our application by issuing a set of guidelines in the coming weeks, which we will be required to meet.

Will there be a consultation period?

Yes, absolutely. As mentioned above, the DAC is expected to issue its guidelines against which we will reassess our application. 

It’s during this period that Life Care will look to engage with local communities and seek their input to the proposed developments.

“We look forward to working with the various communities throughout the planning and approval process,” said Allen.

“We plan to undertake community engagement, so we can submit a final application that addresses not just the guidelines, but community opinion as well.

“It’s very early days. We expect the designs to evolve and change as we consult with people and work with our planners to respond to the DAC guidelines.

“We want Adelaide to be very proud of how it prepares and provides for its ageing population. Life Care wants to deliver the very best result in innovation and design – and we believe our developments will achieve this objective,” he said.

“We anticipate being in a position to submit our final application for DAC consideration by the end of the year.”