Construction Starts On Mercy Place Ballarat
29 March 2017
Work has commenced on Mercy Place Ballarat, Victoria, a residential aged home which will build on the 135-year tradition of the Sisters of Mercy caring for the Ballarat community.
At a ceremony on St Patrick’s Day (March 17), Community Leader, Berenice Kerr rsm and the Bishop of Ballarat, Paul Bird ‘turned the sod’ on the works at a ceremony attended by local Sisters, Mercy Health Board Chairman and Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor, Stephen Cornelissen.
Adj Prof Cornelissen said Mercy Place Ballarat will cater for 112 residents in 14 small households.
“Small community households are at the centre of our model of care and Mercy Place Ballarat will be the first home to be built around this concept,” Adj Prof Cornelissen explained.
“After many years of research and review of caring for older people, and especially those living with dementia, this new model of care is built around relationships, personal enablement and choice, meaningful living and reducing loneliness, isolation and boredom.”
“Anecdotally, we are already seeing some encouraging results for our residents in small community households in Western Australia including an increase in weight gain and a reduction in falls.”
Mercy Place Ballarat will also boast a bar, landscaped gardens including activity gardens, a cafe, grocer, chapel and a wellness centre for residents and their families to enjoy.
Mercy Place Ballarat (artists impression above) is expected to help ease the forecast demand on aged care in the region, with the over 65 population expected to increase by 143 per cent by 2031, the fourth biggest rise after greater Melbourne, Geelong and Bendigo.
“Mercy Health is thrilled to be able to build on the work of the Sisters of Mercy in Ballarat and provide more aged care options for local people from all faith backgrounds,” Adj Prof Cornelissen said.
Community Leader, Berenice Kerr rsm, said caring for the aged and infirmed is at the heart of the original work begun by Catherine McAuley.
“It is wonderful this work of Mercy is being carried on. We are not only delighted this special site is going to be used for this purpose, we are pleased that it will be developed into a cutting edge new approach for aged care for the people of Ballarat.
“The late Kitty O’Kane, whose bequest contributed to making Mercy Place Ballarat possible, is remembered in a special way, for without her generosity, this project may have stayed on the drawing board,” Berenice said.
Mercy Place is being built on the former site of Sacred Heart College, Ballarat East and is expected to be complete by September 2018.
Messages to Kasey McCullough