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Minister opens first Huntington’s residence

Minister opens first Huntington’s residence

New Zealand’s first purpose-built residential facility for people with Huntington’s Disease, was opened in Lower Hutt by Associate Health and Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson today.

Amaryllis House, a $1.4 million development involving Healthcare New Zealand and the Huntington’s Disease Association, will provide around the clock residential services, funded by the Ministry of Health, for up to 14 people. The service will include two rooms for respite care.

“Amaryllis House is the product of great collaboration involving government and non-government agencies,” Ruth Dyson said.

“This is a first for New Zealand and a first for the one in 15,000 New Zealanders who have Huntington’s Disease.

“We have needed a dedicated residential care service for people with Huntington’s for some time. Historically, people with Huntington’s have been placed in psychiatric facilities, or supported for physical disability in community care, or in aged care facilities, when their needs were often multiple.

“Because of the nature of the condition, it is important that the service can support residents at any stage of the disease. This facility offers both on-site care when it is needed, but more importantly it gives residents the freedom to live as independently as they feel comfortable,” Ruth Dyson said.

A temporary service for residents has already been operational since last year, and the staff and exisitng residents will now be based in the new facility opened today.

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