New dementia wing opens - Green Valley Lodge Resthome in AK
7 October 2013
New dementia wing opens
Green Valley Lodge Resthome in Auckland's North Shore is opening accommodation for 20, to accommodate people with dementia.
Statistics show that 50,000 people in New Zealand have dementia and this is expected to triple to 150,000 by 2050 as the population continues to age. Oceania Group is anticipating that increasingly, the age-care sector is going to have to provide much more for dementia and cognitive impairment as demand grows.
The World Alzheimers Report 2013 indicates that nearly half of all older people needing care will experience the effects of dementia and this will lead to a shift from independent or supported living, into care homes for long-term care.
Green Valley Lodge Resthome is one of two homes where Oceania is making a transition to providing more accommodation in the next two months for people experiencing dementia. The other is Elmswood at Tauranga, where new accommodation will open in October.
Stuart Milne’s father Bert is one of the first residents to move into the new units and he sees the move into accommodation tailored for his father’s needs as essential.
“Dad’s always been a bit of a wanderer. He used to do a lot of running and marathons and he’s been very physical, so he’s still very active and wants to keep moving. But he would disappear and get lost and then people would have to drop him home and the Green Valley staff had to track him.
“It’s sad that freedom’s been taken from him, to just go out when he wants to. But he can still go for a walk, just no longer necessarily when he chooses.”
Moving into a unit that’s tailored specifically to help manage the effects of dementia such as wandering and confusion is essential for residents’ safety as well as their families’ peace of mind.
“We’re more at ease now knowing we won’t get a phone call from a shopping mall saying come and pick him up. We’re glad he’s now in a more secure place.”
It was also a real positive that his father was able to make the decision to move to the new accommodation.
There will be increasing challenges on families and on age-care providers to meet the needs of people with dementia and accommodation such as Green Valley’s is part of Oceania’s move to help address a growing challenge.
“Having the right environment for people with dementia is vital if we’re to be able to provide the type of care they need to be safe and well looked-after,” chief executive Guy Eady says.
“We need to be able to provide choice. For many people, living in assisted living accommodation or independently is still possible, but for others, we have to be able to provide more secure living, because we have a great responsibility to ensure safety and at the same time provide flexible and tailored care.
“These units and others we will be providing in the future give our residents and their families the opportunity to plan ahead for their accommodation and for their care and support requirements.”