Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA MAR-APL 2018 Contents Madeline Gall
there was a
and it was
a need that
Australia gets first
Lifeview is building Australia’s
first LGBTI and friends aged
care facility in Melbourne.
MADELINE GALL tells DARRAGH O’KEEFFE
about the strategy behind Lifeview’s plans to build
the first ‘LGBTI and friends’ facility in Melbourne.
t was conversations with her gay and lesbian friends
that inspired Madeline Gall’s plans for Australia’s
first “LGBTI and friends” aged care facility.
Gall, the chief executive officer of Victorian-
based residential aged care provider Lifeview, said
many of her LGBTI friends often say they don’t
want to go into mainstream aged care facilities
and wonder where they’ll access care and support
when they eventually need it.
“Those conversations have been going on for
years and so in the back of my mind was the fact
that there’s this market out there, this demand,
that’s currently not being met,” Gall tells
Australian Ageing Agenda.
Lifeview has announced plans to build
“an innovative LGBTI and friends’ aged care
living and retirement home environment” in
Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Prahran.
Gall says that as the “only private aged care
provider in Australia” to achieve the rainbow tick,
an independent certification of LGBTI inclusiveness
in ser vice, progressing with an LGBTI and friends
residential facility was a logical next move.
“It’s taking it one step further, to enable
that community to age in a location that they’re
familiar with, where they’re already out and
proud, and where they feel safe. That’s why,
strategically, that location was crucial for the
development,” she says of Prahran, which has an
established LGBTI community.
Engagement with local groups
Having undergone the rainbow tick process,
Lifeview already had good relationships with
many LGBTI groups in the community, Gall says,
which was helpful in the market research phase.
“We tapped into that and did a lot of sur veys
asking the community exactly what they
wanted; what did the amenity need to look
like, where did it need to be located. We
involved the likes of Val’s Café and TGV, the
Transgender Victoria Group. So we relied heavily
on the community for their feedback, and
through a lot of networking and tapping into
their resources,” she says.
Much of the feedback confirmed the
organisation’s thinking about the new centre,
Gall says. It also put emphasis on certain aspects
she says, citing the majority of a lesbian group
being adamant on the need for a female-only
floor. “We have taken that feedback quite
seriously and that is now part of the plan that
there will be a female-only floor to provide
ser vices to that group.”
The feedback was strong on the need
for residents to remain a part of the local
community, Gall says. “They didn’t want to
feel like they’re coming into aged care and that
was the end of their life in the outside world.
So we’re looking at having a café that the
community will be able to come in and use so
recipients of care still felt they were part of the
community. They also wanted access to services
they ordinarily would access in the community,
and particularly with a focus on wellness, so
the development will incorporate the likes of a
swimming pool and spa, and a theatre.”
Feedback was also strong on the need for
residents to live in smaller groups, rather than
among masses of people within an institutional
facility, Gall says.
As a result, and in line with an emerging trend
that sees residential aged care facilities adopting
small-scale configurations (see last year’s Nov-Dec
AAA), Gall says the multi-storey 150-bed facility
will be built around houses or neighbourhoods.
Each grouping will consist of up to 18 ensuite
bedrooms sharing a designated communal kitchen
and living space.
Support from board, colleagues
Gall says her board has been supportive of the
project from the start. “They agreed there was a
market there and it was a need that was unmet.”
Similarly, she says there has been interest from
fellow sector executives keen to obser ve how the
unique project progresses.
Lifeview says the new facility will also add
to the revitalisation of the local area with the
ground floor including retail spaces. n
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