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A way forward in dementia care

SPONSORED STORY - When Korongee Village in Tasmania opens its doors in July 2020, it will mark the beginning of a new era in dementia care in Australia. 

Korongee Village, a world class facility from Glenview Community Services in Tasmania, reflects dementia design principles to benefit residents with dementia. [Source: Supplied]
Korongee Village, a world class facility from Glenview Community Services in Tasmania, reflects dementia design principles to benefit residents with dementia. [Source: Supplied]

The world class facility, from Glenview Community Services, is based on a small house model design and utilises a tailored matching process for house selection of new residents. 

This tailoring will address the challenges of institutional care and lead to increased social engagement opportunities and enhanced wellbeing for residents.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Glenview, Lucy O’Flaherty, says Korongee is a game-changer in addressing the big social challenges of dementia.

"This is an opportunity with a brand new site to create something special," says Ms O'Flaherty.

"Residents will live with others whose values they share. The entire village has been built with dementia design principles throughout, so a sense of everyday familiarity is much easier to maintain."

The village is situated in the northern suburbs of Hobart, and features 12 houses, a community centre, medical centre, gardens, a general store, café and a wellness centre. 

The unique design of Korongee, and the way its residents are cared for, is centred on evidence that supports small house living. This research recognises that familiar sights and natural spaces can have a huge impact on overall happiness, health and wellbeing on older people with dementia.

Because of this, the landscape of Korongee reflects dementia design principles, providing residents with multiple visual cues to help them easily find their way around the gardens and village grounds.

Ms O'Flaherty explains, "The design of Korongee has been created from its inception with careful consideration of research, technology, dementia design in both internal and external environments, as well as calling upon known and emerging good practice themes."

Industry super fund HESTA has invested $19 million into the Korongee project through a Social Impact Investment Trust and HESTA CEO, Debby Blakey, says the opening of Korongee represents a significant milestone for aged care in Australia.

"We’re incredibly proud to partner with Glenview on this project and support innovation in dementia care,” says Ms Blakey.

"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."

Director of the University of Tasmania's Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, Professor James Vickers, explains dementia is emerging as the most important health issue of the century and the rapidly rising prevalence of this condition will have tremendous impacts across Australian 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," says Professor Vickers.

"The built environment and the way we provide support and care have significant effects on personal wellbeing, as well as the progression of dementia, and so the Korongee model is a vital development and will be an internationally leading beacon for innovation in aged and dementia care."

To find out more about Korongee Village in Hobart, Tasmania, head to the Glenview Community Services website.

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