Bequests appeal launched in Kerikeri
Kerikeri Retirement Village has launched a bequests appeal to help raise the $8.5 million needed to expand and upgrade its care facility.
It plans to increase the number of care beds it can offer from 66 to 100, in spacious ensuite rooms to provide an increasing level of care as residents age.
Chief executive Hilary Sumpter said the Village’s income streams supported current care facility operations, while borrowings were being channelled into meeting a growing demand for independent living retirement accommodation. As well as the apartments it was building on Kerikeri Rd, it aimed to build 150 more independent living units for about 200 retirees.
Ms Sumpter, who has previously described the looming demand for retirement accommodation as a “silver tsunami,” said the income the Village received from selling the rights to occupy planned and existing retirement accommodation could not cover all the costs of building the associated care facilities within the required time frame and at current construction costs.
“It’s no secret that care beds are like hens’ teeth here in the Mid North. Hard to find,” she said.
“Existing and looming demand means that we need to upgrade our existing but aging care unit, and expand it to accommodate an additional 34 beds for the elderly of our community who can no longer live independently.
“For this we would like to ask the support of our community.”
A bequest is the process of leaving money in one’s will to an organisation or cause, Ms Sumpter describing that form of giving as vital for charitable community-based organisations like Kerikeri Retirement Village.
“We are not like the big, multinational retirement living developers. We are a community organisation, run by our community for our community. All the money we earn, or are given, goes into running our Village, maintaining it, operating our increasingly important but stretched care facilities, and growing to meet future need,” she said.
Kerikeri Retirement Village is working with the Northland Community Foundation to help manage the bequest process. Bequests can be ear-marked specifically for the Village’s care facilities.
Meanwhile the care suites that the Village wants to build represent the latest thinking in aged-care accommodation. They will be ensuite, with access to the outdoors and large enough to accommodate an increasing level of care as the resident ages, allowing the appropriate level of care at the resident’s bedside, rather than constantly moving them.
“This is so much better for the patient’s comfort, peace of mind, and, importantly, dignity,” Ms Sumpter said.
“But it’s not cheap, so I hope our community won’t mind us being so up-front with our appeal for bequests. As with many difficult topics, we believe that being candid and direct is probably the most respectful way forward.”
A spokesman for the Northland Foundation had worked with other organisations in the region to develop similar programmes, but this was its first opportunity to assist an aged care provider.
Kerikeri Retirement Village is borrowing to meet a growing demand for independent retirement accommodation, including a two-storey apartment block that is due to open by the end of the year, but is looking to the community to help it raise $8.5 million for more care beds.