Mayor turns the first sod at NoosaCare’s new dementia project

NoosaCare CEO Megan D''Elton is excited for construction to start on their new residential building.

By Abbey Cannan

Mayor for Noosa, Clare Stewart, along with NoosaCare’s President, Ann Harrap and CEO, Megan D’Elton, turned the first sod for the new building in NoosaCare’s dementia community on Wednesday 22 July.

The sod turning ceremony marked the beginning of construction on the project, which will include a 32 bed, two-storey residential building and a new welcome centre for people living with dementia and their families.

Located next to NoosaCare’s existing Memory Support Unit, with a view to becoming the largest single provider on the Sunshine Coast of accommodation and themed gardens specifically designed for people living with dementia. Dementia Australia, the national peak body for people of all ages living with dementia, was consulted on the project.

Ms D’Elton said NoosaCare’s own research and that of other experts around the world highlighted the importance of well-designed spaces and gardens in maintaining capabilities and providing meaningful engagement with the natural environment for people living with dementia.

“We decided to go back to our roots with the design for Cartwright, so we’re going to create more intimate areas with eight bed villas,” she said.Ms D’Elton said that despite the difficult economic circumstances, NoosaCare was committed to providing a quality service and meeting the high level of demand for dementia services in the Sunshine Coast community.

“The majority of our residents come from the Noosa, Tewantin and Cooroy areas and we have always been well supported by the community, so it is important to us to be responsive to local needs,” she said.

“It was evident that even though we have 32 beds, we had such a long waitlist for dementia unfortunately from people living in the community, so we felt we needed to expand on that to provide the service to those residents.”

Ms D’Elton said it was great to be able to have Mayor Stewart in attendance for the sod turning.”It’s a really nice connection, she had her mother-in-law live here and her name was also Clare and she was the mayor of a shire in southern New South Wales,” she said.

“I just think it’s such a nice fit that she comes back and turns the sod to our new extension.”

Ms D’Elton said the new development was expected to be completed by April 2021.

“While we are funding the new development through our own resources we are always looking to go over and above our excellent care and services,” she said.”Donations and Council grants towards our project, particularly the gardens, would significantly enhance our ability to really do the extraordinary for those who call NoosaCare home.”