CUPPA TIME: Shawn Berquist with resident Peggy in the new Matthew Locke MG House at Legacy on Victoria
CUPPA TIME: Shawn Berquist with resident Peggy in the new Matthew Locke MG House at Legacy on Victoria TREVOR VEALE

Scandi-inspired aged care

LEGACY on Victoria is undergoing a complete refurbishment and rather than replacing old for new, an innovative approach to aged care and architecture is being adopted.

With the smell of fresh paint in the air and finishing touches almost complete this aged care facility, which stands on the site of the former Coffs Base Hospital's maternity ward, is ready for relaunch.

It's not just about bricks and mortar. It's about the changing face of care for our elderly, creating a sense of community and a stimulating environment in which residents feel enriched and empowered.

Almost 18 months ago, Legacy on Victoria's CEO, Shawn Bergquist, was invited on an Aged Care Tour of Scandinavia and returned inspired with a clear focus.

"Aged care facilities, likes hospitals, have traditionally been built on a medical model, based more on the needs of the staff,” Mr Bergquist said.

"In Scandinavia I looked at concepts that could be adapted to Coffs Harbour. The shift of focus towards the resident and a lifestyle model underpinned with clinical care became our action plan.

"Our vision is making the transition into care an easy process and enabling our residents.”

revamped wing of Coffs Legacy home. 14 FEB 2018
New look, new approach TREVOR VEALE

As part of this concept a "Home within a Home” has been created. It has been named the Matthew Locke MG House, in honour of Sergeant Matthew Locke, who was born in Bellingen, served as a soldier with the ADF and posthumously received the Medal for Gallantry after being fatally shot at the age of 33 while protecting his patrol under fire in Afghanistan.

"Due to our work in the Veteran community and our relationship with the Locke family, it was suggested at a board meeting to name this new area Matthew Locke MG House.”

"Sergeant Locke's widow and son are cared for by Legacy in Western Australia and co-incidentally our first residents in the house named after him are all Legacy widows.”

Matthew Locke MG House has a common room, a shared internal courtyard and a kitchen with oven.

"Residents with similar lifestyles live in this house, it enables them to participate in the everyday running of the home for as long as they want, it's also the place to get the best scones or apple pie as many of our residents love baking or just sharing a cuppa around the kitchen table.”

revamped wing of Coffs Legacy homeElla Dowe comes out of her room with fancy door. 14 FEB 2018
KNOCK KNOCK: Ella Dowe at the 'front door' of her room within Legacy on Victoria. TREVOR VEALE

The Coffs Coast Legacy complex in Victoria St is the "base of operations” not only for their aged care but for their wide range of benevolent work. In their focus to foster a sense of community future renovations plans include a cafe which will become a meeting place not only for their workers and volunteers but also for community program participants, aged care residents and their families and the public.

"Our vision in Legacy is to not only support local families in the community but also to provide the highest quality of care to our aged care residents in Legacy on Victoria.”

Saturday is the opening of Legacy on Victoria. The NSW Governor, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, will be in town for the annual Matthew Locke MG Charity football match and will also be cutting the ribbon at Legacy on Victoria.