Keeping it local: Blending residential care with community

Published on 24 April 2024 (Last updated on 10 May 2024)

CCH Chair Greg Adey; SA State Minister Nat Cook; Rex MacIvor; CCH CEO Jo Boylan. [Supplied]

Clayton Church Homes’ Summerhill, a $28 million aged care home, has officially opened in the Adelaide Hills town of Uraidla this week.

Hello Leaders spoke with Clayton Church Homes (CCH) CEO Jo Boylan in February about Summerhill and its unique connection with the local community. 

“Our strategy has been to integrate with the community right from the word go. We arranged our contract so the pharmacy in Uraidla now looks after our Woodside and Uraidla homes so it’s a sustainable partnership. We are also supported by the General Practitioner there so they have more clients,” Ms Boylan told hello leaders.

The home’s official opening hosted several politicians, including the Honourable Nat Cook MP, State Minister for Seniors and Ageing Well, and Trish Garrett, First Assistant Secretary Department of Health and Aged Care. The pair jointly opened the boutique aged care home which has already housed some residents since last month.

Ms Boylan said it has been a wonderful opportunity to welcome guests to the opening as they could show off everything it has to offer, such as lush vineyards and cherry orchards.

“We are extremely proud of what we have created here and that will continue to evolve,” Ms Boylan said.

“Inside and out, Summerhill reflects what is important to older people, their families and the local community. It really is the beginning of a brand new, exciting chapter for everyone, with residents very much at the heart of everything we do.”

Uraidla and the neighbouring community of Summertown are home to less than 1,000 people, although it sits just outside of the population corridor between Adelaide and the rapidly expanding town of Mount Barker.

This makes it an important location for older people who want to remain within their community as they age. Retaining and nurturing that sense of community within an aged care setting has been a top priority for Ms Boylan and her team.

“I’d say nearly 90% of our residents are local from the Hills area and they don’t want to relocate away from their families. It has allowed everyone to live in our home, access local produce, and support local businesses,” she told hello leaders.

The opening ceremony was one of the first public appearances for Minister Cook after being handed the new role of SA State Minister for Seniors and Ageing Well. She shared her excitement over the opportunity to connect with older people and to find out what ageing well means to them.

“With the gym, beautiful surrounds and regional produce, Summerhill sounds like it will be a place that supports older people to have a positive ageing experience,” Ms Cook said.

“As a government, we are committed to putting in place supports for older people to allow them to remain active, engaged in their communities and to live good lives.”

Featuring 60 private rooms, Summerhill has its own gym staffed by positive ageing experts; extensive lifestyle amenities, specialist dementia care support, and architecturally designed landscaped gardens and courtyards.

CCH’s relationship with local organisations will also result in ‘pop-up’ shops appearing throughout the year. Resident Rex MacIvor, who has been supported by CCH for over three decades, said Summerhill is “very nice”.

“You get a good view from here which is great for me because I love watching the birds and the planes,” the 89-year-old said. “You can see over the hills to Mount Lofty.”

“The staff here are very friendly, always smiling and making me laugh,” he said.

“Simon and the team are fantastic, and I trust in their ability to care for me for many years to come.”

regional aged care
aged care development
clayton church homes
adelaide hills
jo boylan
South Australia
Nat Cook