Innovative in its design, Werruna is Hesse Rural Health’s ten bed rural dementia facility. Werruna’s care environment is personal, interactive and ensures residents’ needs are paramount. The facility has successfully integrated regional rural art, culture, outdoor gardens and hands on farm precincts designed to maintain connections with rural upbringings.

Located in Winchelsea, a country town by the Barwon River just 25 minutes from both Geelong and Colac on the Princes Highway, and 1 hour 20 minutes from Melbourne, Werruna covers 500 square metres within two hectares of garden and farmland space and out buildings, creating a secure dementia care area. The open plan spacious indoor and outdoor environment is unique in providing for resident freedom and autonomy. A high ratio of care staff to residents provides for increased individualised care. The co-located Winchelsea Hospital facilitates ageing in place by providing access to the appropriate care and environment required.

Each private, carpeted, spacious room has a single bed and an ensuite. A large window looks out onto beautifully kept gardens and rural spaces. Bedrooms with small private entries sit adjacent to lounge and dining spaces, ensuring ready resident access to social activity. Open communal space is divided into recognisable, functional dining and living zones. A double sided open fire place forms an attractive feature. Cedar panelling and solid blackwood cabinetry complement the internal tumbled brickwork. Alternative private spaces include a small formal glass conservatory, a kitchen and an artist’s studio.

The outdoor area has pathways logically meandering into extensive gardens and a traditional farming area with a machinery shed, a stockyard with animals. Architecturally designed as part of the overall dementia environment, the safe outdoor farm space is freely accessible to residents, supported by the nurse call safety alert system. The vista overlooks a water harvesting lake featuring a windmill and community recreational spaces.

Meals are cooked on site and served fresh from the oven. Bookings for visiting family members who may wish to join a resident for a meal may be arranged.

Located just a short walk from the post office, supermarket, bank, and cafes, the facility is ideally situated for resident and family access to community facilities.

Weekly outings are arranged by dedicated activities personnel using the facility’s own bus transport for picnics, concerts, shopping, dining and visiting attractions such as galleries and shows. Other recreational activities planned within the facility include performances from the local school children, singing and piano recitals, guest speakers, church services, art and crafts, a book club, and access to iPads. Activity programs are tailored for resident needs and preferences, and are supported by a partnership with the local university.

On site services include physiotherapy, speech therapy, podiatry, hearing tests, eye care, hairdressing, occupational therapy, diabetes education and a dietician providing advice on nutrition. Hesse Lodge is also supported by a thriving local GP practice.

If you would like more information, or wish to book a tour of the facility, our office is available between 9am – 5pm on (03) 5267 1200.