Barwon Health opens specialist dementia care unit

May 27, 2024 BY

L-R: Barwon Health chief executive Frances Diver, HammondCare Dementia Centre national projects team leader Miranda Gretgrix, Blakiston Lodge site manager Roz Nolan, federal Department of Health and Aged Care senior regional officer Shane Thomas, and Lara MP Ella George. Photos: SUPPLIED

BARWON Health has launched a specialist dementia care program, offering specialised support to people with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

The new aged care dementia service is housed within Barwon Health’s Blakiston Lodge, located at the McKellar Centre in North Geelong, and was officially launched earlier this month.

The purpose-built facility has nine beds dedicated to transitional care for residents whose symptoms mean they cannot be cared for in a mainstream residential aged care facility.

The care program, delivered in partnership with Dementia Support Australia, aims to reduce or stabilise residents’ behavioural and psychological symptoms within 12 months and support their return to their usual aged care residence.


L-R: Blakiston Lodge site manager Roz Nolan, Lara MP Ella George and Barwon Health chief executive Frances Diver.


Blakiston Lodge facility manager Roz Nolan said the new service offers improved quality of life for people living with dementia who find mainstream aged care difficult.

“Severe dementia doesn’t have to lead to being isolated and restricted, so like any chronic illness, we want to see people achieve the best possible outcomes,” she said.

“Our specialist team can care for residents in a conducive home-like environment that will support their transition, both in and out of this new facility over a period that can take between three and 12 months.

“We are committed to collaborating with Dementia Support Australia to ensure comprehensive support for individuals living with severe dementia.”

Funded through the federal government’s Specialist Dementia Care Program, the new service at Barwon Health is one of 10 across Australia and the first to be based in regional Victoria.