Construction has commenced on the future site of VMCH’s O’Neill Comfort Care Centre in Prahran.
The $8.8m project will create a unique 22 bed home for people to experience the best available support at their end of life. VMCH will be repurposing non-operational aged care residence, O’Neill Aged Care Residence.
A Richmond-based construction company, Bowden Corporation has been appointed by VMCH for the residence, which expects to open in early 2021. Sonya Smart, VMCH CEO says the concept of ‘comfort care’ is important to the organisation, as it will deliver excellence in end of life care.
“The Comfort Care Centre will provide palliative support for people in their last months of life, and we will be working with Cabrini Health and the community.
“A Comfort Care Centre offers people options and ensures that at this important time of their life, they can be supported in a homelike environment. We can then care for their physical and spiritual wellbeing, as well as ensuring their family and loved ones can spend valuable, quality time together.
“Our aim is to ease the burden for our people and their families. We also want to reduce the need for emergency department presentations and deaths during transfers to and from services.”
Ms Smart says the physical environment of O’Neill will be developed in order to have a profound and positive effect on the quality of life.
“The importance of the surrounds and feelings of comfort has an enormous bearing on the person dying as well as on their family, friends and carers,” she says.
“All spaces will be designed to be homely, relaxed and welcoming. It will be well lit, especially through natural light. The bedrooms will be designed to enable families and friends to stay overnight, either within the resident’s room or in a dedicated family apartment.
“The environment will provide for privacy as well as areas to support intimate family interactions, larger gatherings and the sharing of meals.
“This building will be a sanctuary for the person dying and their families and friends.”