Fern Haven en­sures care closer to home

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MATHEW GROCOTT

More than 30 months of work on Rangiura’s dementia unit cul­mi­nated on Thurs­day with the open­ing of Fern Haven.

The unit was opened in front of more than 100 peo­ple in­clud­ing Rangiura staff, res­i­dents, cur­rent and for­mer trustees, dig­ni­taries and those in­volved in fundrais­ing and con­struc­tion.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony Pu­taruru and South Waikato peo­ple were ac­knowl­edged for sup­port­ing the project.

Fundrais­ing for Fern Haven started two and a half years ago and close to $800,000 had been raised.

Much of this money came from the Pu­taruru com­mu­nity.

‘‘Fern Haven has only be­come a re­al­ity thanks to the sup­port of the com­mu­nity,’’ Rangiura Trust chair­man Henry van Dyk said.

More than 2000 peo­ple had made do­na­tions while many had vol­un­teered time and goods to var­i­ous fundrais­ing ef­forts Mr van Dyk said. Taupo MP Louise Up­ston said other small towns would have strug­gled to make a project like Fern Haven a re­al­ity.

‘‘I don’t think there would be any other com­mu­nity in New Zealand who would have the abil­ity to raise money for a fa­cil­ity like this,’’ she said.

‘‘ Pu­taruru is a com­mu­nity that doesn’t say no, doesn’t say how, just gets on and does it.’’

South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sin­clair said Rangiura had re­lied on com­mu­nity sup­port well be­fore it opened in 1981.

‘‘As this unit is opened to­day it’s a trib­ute to those who have shown lead­er­ship in the past and present,’’ Mr Sin­clair said.

‘‘ Rangiura pro­vides a stan­dard of care un­ri­valled in the coun­try.’’

Mr van Dyk called Fern Haven ‘‘a home for very spe­cial peo­ple who are our moth­ers, fa­thers, broth­ers, sis­ters and grand­par­ents’’.

He said dementia af­fected more peo­ple than any other ill­ness and the num­ber af­fected was ex­pected to in­crease sharply.

The new unit will mean more South Waikato peo­ple can be cared for closer to their homes and fam­ily.

Fern Haven has 20 beds across 16 rooms, a com­mu­nal liv­ing area, a kitchen and a se­cure out­door area.

OPEN HOME: Neil Sin­clair cuts the rib­bon to open Fern Haven ‘‘on be­half of the peo­ple of Pu­taruru’’.

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