Tasmania will soon become home to what is being touted as Australia’s first suburban village designed specifically for people with dementia. As well as 15 tailored houses, the village will have a supermarket, cinema, cafe, beauty salon and gardens. The $25-million Korongee complex will transform a derelict site at Glenorchy in Hobart’s north.
The village will be based on international best-practice models, including De Hogeweyk village in the Netherlands (right), where residents have been found to live longer and take fewer medications.
There are many facilities which have aspects catering for dementia patients – like streetscapes – but this is the first creating an entire village. But this complex will have a particularly Tasmanian flavour with cul-de-sacs reflecting the landscape nearby.
The village will cater for 90 residents but will be open to the community to come and go. There will be no age limit for residents. People with early-onset dementia will also be able to live there. There will be public and private spaces to maintain the privacy of the residents, while encouraging normal life.
The Wicking Dementia Centre’s Professor James Vickers said the concept was revolutionary and would transform dementia care. He said research had shown entering an aged care facility could create stress and accelerate the rate of decline for those with dementia.
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