Established in 1984, Westella Homestead Feilding provides services for people with dementia and mental health, intellectual or behavioural support needs. The facility is on seven half acres of park-like gardens.
External doors are not locked, there are no enclosed courtyards, and residents are free to explore the space and outdoor environment.
The rural aspect of the home provides an environment with extensive gardens and outdoor spaces where the security measures cannot be seen, and stresses or environmental stimulation (noise, traffic) is virtually eliminated. Boundary fences are hidden by natural bush and entry and exit gates are not visible from the home.
The ability to explore the outdoor environment increases access to natural sunlight, providing exercise, improved sleep patterns and reducing challenging behaviours.
With the added advantage of a single point of entry and a 500 metre driveway, security gates are also not immediately visible from the homestead.
Westella has installed a secured ‘air lock’ security gating system providing a double layer of security. If clients were to explore their area and find their way to, and get through the electronically controlled internal gate, they would find themselves in a secured area between the first and second gates.
The second gate, also electronically controlled, is again not visible from the first gate so most of the time deters clients from exploring further.
Video surveillance and motion detection provides visibility and alerts to provide added security.
The placement of the cameras covering the single point of exit to the property and the audible alarm alerts staff to wandering residents making their way toward the gates. Staff are able to redirect the clients and use diversion techniques rather than the client having to have the stress of encountering a locked door, security fence, or feelings of being trapped.
The added advantage of this set up is that it also provides security for staff on afternoon and night shifts. They have the confidence that no one will be able to get access to the home without an entry code or calling them on the intercom.