Jan 24, 2018

Dementia Villages: Set to Transform The Way We Care for People with Dementia

There have been a number of dementia villages built around the world – and now Australia is joining in on the unique and innovative concept.

Australia’s very first suburban village designed specifically for people with dementia is set to be built in Tasmania.

Tasmania has the fastest growing ageing population in the nation, and dementia is now the second leading cause of death.

A first of its kind in the country, the “small town” will have 15 specially tailored houses which will provide accommodation for 90 people.

There will also be a supermarket, cinema, café, beauty salon and gardens for all the residents to use.

The most recognised village is De Hogeweyk village in the Netherlands, where it’s been reported that residents are living longer, eating better and take fewer medications.

There are hopes that this holistic approach in Australia will also have the same effect, and potentially be a more affordable option for those who can’t always afford costly 24-hour care.

The Korongee complex is estimated to cost approximate $25 million, and should it become successfully functional, other dementia villages could be built in other states.   

Dementia villages are small towns that are built and designed to look and feel like a real town, while also offering the care and support needed for people with dementia.

It allows people to live independently, providing “normal” real life experiences in a safe and secure environment.

Residents are allowed to roam around and explore as much as they wish within its confines. They are even encouraged to help with cooking and other household tasks including shopping, in the village grocery store.

Some critics oppose the idea of creating this environment, arguing that residents are being misled.

However, supporters and researchers say that the “dementia village” concept is one of the most compassionate, type of dementia care offered anywhere.

To ensure safety in the new Tasmanian village, there are plans to have staff take part in discreet observation as well as advanced security technologies.  

The shops and businesses in the village will all be real and the staff will be given specific training to accommodate for the residents.

One of the innovative features of creating a dementia village is that it can be tailored to any culture or setting.

This new Australian village, built in the suburb of Glenorchy in Hobart, has been designed to reflect the surrounding Tasmanian landscape.

The project was only announced last week, and is funded by aged care provider Glenview Community Services along with health sector superannuation fund Hesta and with the assistance of some government funding.  

Construction is expected to begin next year and is due to be finished in mid-to-late 2019.

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  1. This is brilliant …. I work in Aged Care in a Dementia Unit and would love to see how people with dementia respond in a more normal, home like environment as opposed to the clinical, task orientated environment that is the norm in agec care!

  2. What a wonderful place, I too spent many years caring for those with Dementia. This village is so inviting, normal as it should be. I would love Australia to build villages like this, people don’t ask to get Dementia, yet they are at the end of the line for care specific to their needs. I always knew about the one in Tasmania (who were far ahead of their time)

  3. i think this is a wonderful idea,i am a volunteer at an aged care and know they would love to do things for themselves as i would be only to happy to help them

  4. Will it matter as income levels or will this be for all elderly with dementia ?
    Hope so! Wish USA would think just as for our elderly.

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