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Eating disorders

Residential care

Residential treatment that provides 24-hour care for those who are medically stable but require round the clock supervision for ongoing recovery support

What is it?

Residential treatment provides 24-hour care for those who are medically stable but require around-the-clock supervision of behaviours and meals and ongoing psychological support.

Residential treatment is considered the second most intensive treatment option for an eating disorder after inpatient care (i.e. hospital admission).

What can someone expect?

When accessing residential treatment, you will temporarily live at an eating disorder treatment facility where you will receive a high level of routine, and nutritional and psychological support. The facility is purpose-built to create a home-like environment.

At present, there is only one residential care facility in Australia specifically for eating disorders. It’s called Wandi Nerida and located on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Wandi Nerida uses the Butterfly Foundation Residential Eating Disorders Treatment (B-FREEDT) Model of Care©, with an individualised and phased treatment plan so participants can model recovery when they return home. Group therapy is a key part of treatment. A high staff-to-client ratio ensures that participants always have therapeutic, medical and nutritional support, while treatment focuses on the psychological aspects of the illness.

Wandi Nerida is a private hospital facility and treatment is self-funded. If you have private health insurance, it may cover a portion of the cost. The minimum proposed length of stay at Wandi Nerida is 60 days, but it may be longer depending on your needs. Wandi Nerida has 13 beds and there is generally a wait time involved.

Who is this for?

A residential treatment program may be necessary if you:

  • need long-term care for your eating disorder
  • have been in the hospital a number of times but your mental or physical health hasn’t improved
  • require a high level of structure and supervision of meals
  • require help managing extreme anxiety, preventing exercise or purging, or support for other problematic behaviours.

Residential care can be a good option for those who have been discharged from inpatient hospital care/refeeding, but don’t yet feel they could transition safely into community care while living at home. Depending on the amount of support you need, residential care could be considered when you are accessing support for the first time.

Other eligibility criteria for residential care include:

  • aged over 16 years
  • diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • medically stable
  • able and willing to consent to treatment
  • free of an active substance dependency
  • able to manage mobility independently
  • have manageable dietary restrictions.

How can someone access it?

Access to Wandi Nerida requires a direct referral from your GP or psychiatrist. Further information about accessing Wandi Nerida is available for participants and referrers.

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