Fern Haven ensures care closer to home
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’’.