What is Kemira?

Kemira at IRT William Beach Gardens, Kanahooka is a new type of age-friendly community.
It is a community where ageing people with intellectual disability can live with their primary carers in a supportive setting.
Located alongside the existing Lifestyle Community at IRT William Beach Gardens, the fully accessible villas are designed to meet changing needs.
 

How did Kemira come about?

Kemira is the first community built according to the Pathways through Partnership model. The model was developed from research into the limited housing options available to ageing people with intellectual disability and their primary carers.
This innovative model was designed by IRT in partnership with Greenacres Disability Services, Community Gateway and Interchange Illawarra. The University of Wollongong is also supporting the Pathways through Partnership model by researching its effectiveness and developing a blueprint to guide other service providers.
Kemira received $2.9 million funding under the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Illawarra Infrastructure Fund and IRT contributed $2 million in cash and in-kind contributions to the construction. 
 

What does Kemira look like?

Kemira includes six one-bedroom and six two-bedroom villas designed to the highest standards for accessibility and liveability, a five bed respite centre and community centre.
The community centre will provide a space where residents can take time to relax or where they may participate in a range of activities. The community centre can be booked for age-friendly activities by members of the broader community including aged and disability service providers and local community groups.
 

Who can live at Kemira?

Kemira’s tenants are people with intellectual disability who are living with their primary carer(s), are showing signs of ageing, and are (now or in the future) at risk of being separated from their primary carer(s) due to increasing needs or significant challenges within their living environment.
Signs of ageing may include decreased mobility, sensory decline, declining fitness and strength, and assistance needed for activities of daily living.
Residents will be willing to play an active role within this supportive community.
 

How do I apply to be a resident?

Application to live at Kemira is by expression of interest. Expression of interest forms are available from IRT by contacting our friendly Customer Contact Centre on Freecall 1800 024 915.
We will work together with each applicant to evaluate whether this community accommodation model is the best option to meet their needs.
 

As a resident what kind of support can I receive?

Residents who are currently receiving (or are eligible to receive) disability or aged care services should not be impacted by their choice to live within the new community.
People interested in this accommodation option should contact their service provider if they have any concerns. 
There is no obligation to use IRT for support services. 
Support can be provided by organisations that the resident chooses as their service provider and for which they have funding or can self-fund.
Kemira is designed to support ageing, wellbeing, social engagement and a sense of community. Residents can relax and enjoy community living while we take care of building and garden maintenance.
 

What happens if a carer needs to go into hospital or residential aged care?

In the event of a carer’s short-term absence, if possible the person with intellectual disability may remain in their own villa with additional support from their disability service provider. Alternatively respite accommodation may be available on site.
Longer term, if the person with intellectual disability can be provided with additional support to remain living within their own home, they may remain part of the community.
 

How do I access the respite facility?

The respite facility will be operated by disability service provider(s) who will review and manage all requests for short term respite and will have an appropriate application, waitlist and allocation process in place.
 
 

The Good Life

Episode 12 of The Good Life YouTube Channel for over 55s is now available to view!

We meet two Queensland locals who have started Australia's first edible streetscape...find out more about how Wollongong’s army of volunteers prepared to welcome the city’s first cruise ship and its 3000 passengers...Pete joins Ben in the kitchen, but first up, we celebrated International Day of Older Persons a bit differently this year...

Watch episode 12 today