Fulton Trotter Architects Annual Aged Care Forum

For most of us Monday is just another day, we do the things we do every day: talk to clients, deliver projects, work through the details. And sometimes that can leave us a bit DAZED. Last Monday, however, Fulton Trotter Architects hosted a forum that aimed to DAZZLE!

Our forum “DAZED OR DAZZLING: How Will Our Elders Live?” brought together a range of experts from across the country, focusing on the premise that our later years of life should be dazzling!

Industry guests enjoyed informative presentations from Mackenzie Jackson (Conpago), Sandra Nugent (Dementia Australia) and Cath Manuel (Soil to Supper) covering elder tech, dementia in society and the benefits of therapeutic gardening.

Fulton Trotter Director, Ryan Loveday, articulated how our architectural desire for aged care to “make a place for Joy” is driving thinking around the “blurry edge”. A concept that works to improve the connection and involvement of the community in retirement and care facilities.

Partners in the 10K Project, Jessie Williams (The Groundswell Project) and Marguerite Kelly (Western Sydney University) shared their early observations. The 10K Project places a Southern Cross Aged Care facility at the centre of their research which aims to investigate the impact that being connected within a community has for positive, healthy aging and overall life satisfaction. Already they are finding increased participation from residents by changing the focus on activities for the sake of diversion to activities where the focus is on building relationships.

Rae Blackledge (Anglicare) introduced many of the attendees to the Montessori method of care that has been implemented at Elizabeth Lodge, a vertical Aged Care Facility in a repurposed hotel building in Kings Cross. Here the focus on respect for the individual’s right to choose and to be useful has been taken to new levels. We were delighted with tales of residents manning the phones and of the regular Monday baking sessions worthy of an Easter Show Scone Champion.

This forum brought together thought leaders and showed that the common threads of community, choice, involvement and connection will all be needed if we are to live and enjoy a DAZZLING life to the end.