Birth­day for pi­o­neer­ing Care Vil­lage

Rotorua Daily Post - - OUR PEOPLE -

An in­no­va­tive de­men­tia and aged care vil­lage in Ngongo­taha¯ has cel­e­brated its first birth­day, mark­ing the oc­ca­sion with cake and punch.

The Care Vil­lage was built to repli­cate a small-scale New Zealand town.

It has been de­signed to al­low peo­ple with de­men­tia to live as nor­mal a life as pos­si­bly by liv­ing in shared house­holds, cre­at­ing a foun­da­tion of in­de­pen­dence, home and com­mu­nity, with pro­fes­sional sup­port and car­ers nearby.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Therese Jeffs said she still had com­plete con­fi­dence in the pi­o­neer­ing model of care.

“The Care Vil­lage was built on the be­lief that there had to be a bet­ter way of de­liv­er­ing aged care in New Zealand, one which not only pre­served the life­styles of those need­ing care, but also chal­lenged tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tional prac­tices in the wider in­dus­try.

“A year down the track and I know we’re do­ing the right thing. Ev­ery day some­thing hap­pens where you can’t help but think, ‘wow, that’s amaz­ing’. We’re still on a jour­ney, but that’s all just part of blaz­ing the trail.”

Ev­ery day is a cel­e­bra­tion in House Four, Camel­lia Lane, with the six res­i­dents who call it home, bak­ing or knit­ting, vis­i­tors pop­ping in and out, and planned ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place — bingo, singing, even happy hour.

Ju­lia Free­man, daugh­ter of House Four res­i­dents Dolly and Bruce Atkins, said she had no­ticed a real change in her par­ents.

“I can see they’re much more re­laxed, up­beat, happy and in­de­pen­dent in this en­vi­ron­ment. Mum

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