In the fourth article, published on 26th September 2017, of its series on aged care, the Sydney Morning Herald writer Michael Bachelard looked at the new village, Korongee for sufferers of dementia, still in the concept stage, to be built in Hobart in 2019. He quotes Lucy O’Flaherty from Glenview Community Care, who states “This is not about creating a simulated life. It’s about letting people with dementia do what they want to do, when they want to do it, in a safe environment.” She explains that they’ll have 15 homes and each will look different so the residents can visually orientate themselves. Part of the safe environment will be provided by technology with residents monitored in their homes by listening technology, sensor flooring, movement sensors and temperature and CO2 levels will be automatically controlled.
The announcement of the development of the village, based on the De Hogeweyk village in the Netherlands, caught my attention and I first wrote about it in early August. The village reflects the philosophy that, after a full life making their own decisions, even people with dementia can have a valid opinion on their day to day life and surroundings. By destressing the environment and providing a place in which people with dementia can live their lives as they always have, you change the experience. O’Flaherty says “Stress only accelerates the decline.”
The village will have shops, a café, a beauty salon and a cinema, which will also be accessed by the local community. Revenue from these operations will flow back into the aged care facility.
I have seen and continue to see many new aged care facilities being developed as I inspect them on behalf of my clients who are seeking suitable aged care options. This village concept for people experiencing dementia has me excited and I hope to see one built in Melbourne in the not too distant future.