Excitement over the idea of dementia villages has been bubbling in the aged care sector over the past several years. Pioneered overseas in countries like the Netherlands, these care facilities resemble small contained towns, complete with amenities like cafés, beauty salons, theatres and supermarkets that residents are free to visit as they please. Now, plans have been unveiled for the Tasmanian suburb of Glenorchy to be home to one such village.
Not-for-profit aged care provider Glenview will transform an unused site in Glenorchy into a facility based on a cul de sac streetscape. Glenview chief executive Lucy O’Flaherty said the Korongee village concept draws on a range of international best practice models, particularly the dementia village of De Hogeweyk in the Netherlands, and added residents in these homes live longer, eat better and take fewer medications and Glenview hopes to see similar transformative health benefits at Korongee.
Korongee’s 15 houses, each with six bedrooms, will be staffed by health professionals who dress casually and well be seen as home makers, charged with making the experience as true to home living as possible.
Residents within each house will be matched by their similar backgrounds, experiences, interests and skills. “A person who has worked as a tradesman all their life will most likely have a routine involving an early start and knocking off at 3pm. Alternatively, at the other end of the spectrum artists or creative folk who may rise later and have later evenings and weekends that are highly social – two lifestyles not necessarily conducive to each other,” O’Flaherty said.
Glenview also intends to ensure residents will have more control over their routines or lack-thereof. They will be welcome to wake up and move about their day in their own time. “If they want to make themselves a piece of toast in the middle of the night, they can do that,” O’Flaherty said.
The development of the Korongee village is a partnership between Glenview, HESTA, Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and the Commonwealth Government.
HESTA has invested $19 million to finance the village through its Social Impact Investment Trust, managed by SVA, which aims to invest in opportunities that deliver both an appropriate financial return and a measurable social impact.
Debby Blakey, chief executive of HESTA, said not only will the venture provide a world-class facility for the local community, it will benefit members by earning a return, and act as a pilot model for investing in aged care that could attract other big players to the space.
Blakey said: “We heard about the great work Glenview was doing and, because HESTA has a specific focus on identifying investment opportunities in our sector, we were able to explore how we could support this fantastic project.”
Construction is planned to commence in early 2018, with the site to be complete by mid to late 2019.
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