Be­quests ap­peal launched in Kerik­eri

The Northland Age - - Local News -

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.

PIC­TURE / PETER DE GRAAF

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.

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