Scone's Strathearn House is about to gain three new villas.
HammondCare will expand further their independent seniors living community at Gundy Road, with work to start soon on one three bedroom villa and two, two-bedroom villas.
More people will be able to join residents like Jeff and Judy Carmody, who are enjoying their country lifestyle in a new villa after downsizing from their large home in Scone in 2018.
The couple, both 79, have strong ties to Scone including spending their 57 years of marriage together in the town. Over the decades, Mr Carmody has managed a stock and station agency, leased a local motel and worked in the local Toyota franchise.
"We were initially keen to retire to Port Macquarie - we had already put down a deposit on a place there," Jeff said.
"We thought about it and realised that all our friends are here, and we did not want to leave. "We can always go to Port Macquarie on holiday or Nelson Bay if we want and we do but Scone is where we are happy."
There are now 15 villas at the Gundy Rd site - with three selling this year - plus the three more to come in 2024. There is a long-term plan to eventually develop 23 villas on the site. The expansion of the independent living community is just the latest investment by HammondCare in the Scone community.
In November 2022, HammondCare opened a $14 million, specialist dementia care home comprised of two 15-bed cottages, designed according to HammondCare's internationally recognised cottage design principles.
HammondCare General Manager Independent Living, Property & Homelessness Michael Cooney said HammondCare was proud to invest in Scone. "This is quality country living in a wonderful regional town," Mr Cooney said. Gundy Road independent living residents can participate in a range of community activities, including happy hour drinks, regular morning teas and lunches at the Scone Bowling Club.
There are movie afternoons and crochet groups at the new Rouchel Community Centre, opened in 2022, and regular outings. The independent living units offer secure single and double garages with internal access plus a 24-hour monitored emergency call system.
Designs include front terraces and a sunny rear courtyard. All are stepless inside and out. Local builder Allan Eather has constructed all existing villas and will build the three new villas.
HammondCare also offers 10 recently renovated villas at a Susan St location and a further 8 at Park Street which are rented at concessional rates for older people in the Scone and surrounding communities.
There is a range of aged care accommodation on the Gundy Rd site at Strathearn House for 94 residents, including the new dementia-specific care home. Village independent living manager Sharon Collins said the Gundy Rd villas were like a "community within the Scone community".
The co-location on site with HammondCare frail aged care and dementia care is attractive to buyers who are anticipating they may need more care support in the future.
"Some couples have chosen to live here knowing at some point in the future one or both will need to access residential aged care and it brings them a feeling of comfort," Mrs Collins said. Mr Carmody agreed that residential aged care being close by was an appealing feature: "We are lucky to have these services here".