The National Centre for Healthy Aging (NCHA) is proposing to temporarily place a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) play space and research facilities at Belvedere Reserve, in Seaford

This play space and the research facilities will incorporate an Inter-generational Learning & Activity Playground and an Independent Living Lab with a mobility garden and outdoor exercise park. An overview of the proposals are provided here for the community to view and comment on.

The NCHA is a federally-funded joint venture between Peninsula Health and Monash University.

Building on Council’s ambition for the soon-to-open Healthy Futures Hub at Belvedere Reserve, these new initiatives are aimed at bringing unique opportunities for improved health and education for the local community. They will also help to deliver further on the Frankston City Council Health and Wellbeing Plan.

Proposed Conceptual Plan

Key Infrastructure Elements

Detailed information about these key features

What is to be built:

A STEM-based (Science Technology Engineering Maths) play space to promote inter-generational outdoor physical activity and learning with vertical and table top exhibits developed by the Monash University research team.

How it will be used:

  • Structured inter-generational education program with primary schools and older adult volunteers.
  • General public use.

Community objectives:

  • To facilitate inter-generational social connection, physical activity, mental well-being and learning in STEM areas.
  • To promote health and well-being in older adults by engaging them in an education based volunteering opportunity with primary aged children.
  • To promote experiential learning as a key investment in children to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty and its deleterious health impacts.

Research objectives:

  • Clinical education of physiotherapy and occupational therapy students in the areas of paediatrics and lifespan.
  • Research grant / project / student opportunities to investigate the ways that people use and benefit from this environment.

What is to be built:

  • Evidence-based outdoor exercise equipment that strengthens the motor skills, balance and manual dexterity of the elderly.
  • For examples of this equipment located in other public parks in Victoria, see https://www.nari.net.au/seniors-exercise-park

How it will be used:

  • Structured older/adult exercise program run by Monash University.
  • General public use.

Community objective:

  • Improved physical capacity, social connectedness and mental health in older adults, or those who experience health or disability-related conditions, to live independently for longer and age in place.

Research objective:

  • Clinical education of physiotherapy students in the areas of exercise prescription and gerontology.
  • Research grant / project / student opportunities to investigate the ways that people use and benefit from this environment.

What is to be built:

  • A temporary, modular building of approximately 200m2 able to be used to simulate a range of home access options (e.g. ramps, stairs) and internal room designs. People will be able to try and use set-ups that they may be thinking of incorporating into their current or new house design that support living and ageing in place. Age-friendly technologies and assistive devices will also be able to be trialled.

How it will be used:

  • Structured research program managed by Monash University.

Community objective:

  • To help older people, or those who experience health or disability-related conditions, to live in their homes for longer, reducing the need for them to move into supported living environments including residential aged care.

Research objective:

  • This research will investigate whether a “lived experience” of assistive technologies and/or home modifications can increase the acceptance rate of these environmental adaptations and lead to subsequent health, participation and/or functional independence benefits.

What is to be built:

  • Approximately 170 m2 of outdoor garden arrangements next to, and incorporated into, the Independent Living Lab access. It will offer various outdoor/weather-proof infrastructure, gradients and surfaces to trial, test and challenge mobility for people of all abilities, including those who can ambulant independently, use gait aides, or require manual or motorised wheelchair or mobility scooter use.

How it will be used:

  • Structured research program managed by Monash University.
  • General public use.

Community objective:

  • To help older people, or those who experience health or disability-related conditions, to live independently for longer and age in place.

Research objective:

  • Innovative and evidence-based mobility assessment and training program for tricycle, bicycle and mobility scooter use.
  • This research will investigate whether a “lived experience” of flexible and effective indoor and outdoor built environments, assistive technology and workforce design to support healthy will lead to subsequent health and functional independence benefits.

Before and After

Before - Site area: After - Site area:

Swipe from left to right to see the proposed change