Just over an hour outside of Melbourne, Daylesford is more than just a place to visit for a getaway or spa, with many LGBT people looking to settle down for a tree change later in life.

When some think of Daylesford they think of Australia’s number one queer country pride festival, Chillout, but for those looking to enjoy their later years with an impressive range of services and beautiful surrounds, Hepburn House is home sweet home.

A government-funded aged care facility, Hepburn House offers all levels of care, from permanent to respite, in a comfortable home-style environment, and being Rainbow Tick accredited, they provide safe care for the LGBTI community.

“We focus on giving residents choices and being flexible, nothing is strict,” explains Dianne Jones. “We are progressive, inclusive and welcoming. All of our staff work to make Hepburn house a friendly, home-like environment for our residents.”

You can relax and take in the beautiful gardens and natural bushland surrounding Hepburn House or enjoy the full lifestyle program they have on offer.

“Were just starting our inter-generational program with local childcare, with the children coming to Hepburn House and engaging with our residents each fortnight. We also have entertainers a couple of times a month, as well as regular favourites like Morning Melodies and outings for coffee and cake, to local attractions and events or shopping.”

Image: Hepburn House website.

Hepburn House’s big new extension is set to begin the building phase any day now, so that there is more space for LGBT elders come out to the country and not worry about returning in the closet.

“Our LGBTI and friends’ section is 31 beds and the purpose-built area for residents living with dementia is 15 beds,” Dianne tells us, “and there will also be a gym and a theatre – it’s going to be magnificent.”

Hepburn House has facilities that provide for couples, or bedrooms with an adjoining private lounge and ensuite. With all remaining rooms as single, private rooms with ensuite. Many also have private balconies with views of the surrounding countryside.

“It’s a very friendly and inclusive environment and staff members often have a cup of tea and a chat with our residents.”

Image : Hepburn House website.

Visits from friends and family are more than welcome, with residents able to have a friend or family member join them for lunch or dinner for a nominal fee.

“There’s also a fabulous outdoor barbecue area for gatherings, and we can make arrangements to host birthday parties.”

Home-style meals are cooked in the on-site kitchen can accommodate not only dietary and religious requirements, but also residents’ likes and dislikes.

Residents are cared for by a full team of dedicated personal care workers and nurses, as well as regular visits from allied health professionals.

Transport options are also available for residents, to and from things like shopping or medical appointments.

Hepburn House regularly has respite available and currently has a permanent bed available and is located at 1 Hepburn Road, Daylesford.

For more information, please call (03) 5348 8100 or visit their website.

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