Works begin on Australian-first dementia village

15 January 2019|Community News| Off Comments off on Works begin on Australian-first dementia village|

FINAL plans for a cutting edge Australian-first dementia village in Glenorchy have been unveiled with works set to begin on the suburban streetscape designed to recreate real life experiences for people living with dementia.

Built with the assistance of the Commonwealth Government, Korongee is a partnership between Glenview Community Services, HESTA and Social Ventures Australia.

The village, located on a site next to Cosgrove High School, will be based on a typical Tasmanian streetscape.

Glenview chief executive officer Lucy O’Flaherty said the timing of the project highlighted the need to change how care is provided to people living with dementia and no longer able to live in their own home.

“Korongee returns to the simple home truths of ‘it takes a village’, pushing the boundaries in terms of doing something innovative and different in aged care,” she said.

Ms O’Flaherty said one of the key elements of the village design was the small house model.

“It highlights the significance of living in small houses with people whose values you share and have something in common with,” she said.

“In large buildings, the sense of institution is unavoidably present when you walk through the front door and any well-meaning ideology can easily be lost.

“With a village like Korongee, you walk into small homes, all with dementia design principles throughout, and a sense of the everyday is much easier to maintain.”

Ms O’Flaherty said Korongee’s design would make it possible for residents living with dementia to walk around the village and participate in everyday life decisions which were not always available to those in traditional residential-based dementia care activities.

This included such things as going to the café to buy a coffee or heading to the supermarket to buy groceries for dinner.

In addition to the commercial hub, Korengee with consist of 12 houses, each with eight bedrooms that will be staffed by care professionals who will help reinforce the authentic home-like environment.

Glenview commissioned the University of Tasmania to undertake work in creating an evidence-based tool to enable a matching of individuals and the type of house they move into.

This is based on values, demography and a range of other factors.

“Creating an authentic environment is the key to this cutting-edge model, with residents within each house to be matched by their similar backgrounds, experiences, interests and skills,” Ms O’Flaherty said.

“The Korongee village concept draws on a range of national and international best practice models, while contextualising this into a uniquely Tasmanian experience.”

HESTA chief executive officer Debby Blakey said the unveiling of final plans and breaking of ground at the Korongee site represented a significant milestone for aged care in Australia.

“HESTA is incredibly proud to partner with Glenview on this project and support innovation in dementia care,” she said.

“Korongee is a huge step forward for dementia care in this country and puts Australia and Tasmania at the forefront of a global push to improve the quality of life of those living with dementia.”

Wicking Dementia and Research Centre director and Glenview board member James Vickers said with dementia emerging as the most important health issue of the century, the rapidly rising prevalence of the condition would have tremendous impacts across society.

“It is vitally important to reconfigure our approach to care in order to meet the needs, as well as support the dignity and autonomy of people living with dementia now and into the future,” he said.

“The built environment and the way we provide support and care have significant effects on personal wellbeing, as well as the progression of dementia.

“The Korongee model is a vital development and will be an internationally leading beacon for innovation in aged and dementia care.”

Caption: From left, Glenview chief executive officer Lucy O’Flaherty, HESTA chief executive officer Debby Blakey and Wicking Dementia and Research Centre director James Vickers.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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