CALVARY Hospital Southland is proposing to develop an innovative and progressive community-based model of care for the elderly and people living with dementia in Southland and Otago.
The charitable trust planned to develop a multi-million-dollar aged care facility for elderly residents and people living with dementia on the former Hawthorndale School site in Tay St.
“Currently, once people move into a rest-home they leave the everyday life they’re used to and enter an unfamiliar institutional world,” project team member Paddy O’Brien said.
“This village model allows all residents to preserve quality of life regardless of their care needs.”
Based on the Dutch De Hogeweyk model, the $31.5 million village would replicate everyday life in a suburban neighbourhood, with a village square, food market, hall, cafe, hairdresser, gardens, recreational area and playground for children of visiting families, all within a safe, secure setting.
It would contain 12 homes with seven beds and shared living and kitchen areas in each and 10 independent living units.
The development would create an extra 12 beds in Invercargill, but would have capacity to grow.
Project team leader Sarah Hannan said the aim of the project was not to provide more dementia beds in Invercargill, but rather was a shift in the way dementia patients were cared for.
Mr O’Brien said it was a not-for-profit project.
“We are not driven by the return. We are driven by care for people.”
The project was the brainchild of Calvary Hospital Southland manager Margaret Brown.
Ms Brown said she was excited the project was getting closer to being realised.
“It’s to give everybody a better way of nursing the elderly as opposed to institutionalised care,” she said.
“It will be totally amazing for Southland.
“We hope it will lead the way, that other places will follow and this will become the norm for aged care.”
The village model would allow residents to live in smaller groups, enjoy greater independence, have a say in how their home was run and have the freedom to walk around, she said.
About half of the $31.5m in funding needed for the development had been secured from Calvary Hospital reserves, the O’Donnell family and community funders Community Trust South and ILT Foundation.
Calvary Hospital Southland launched a fundraising campaign at a function last night to raise the balance of nearly $14m.
Ms Hannan said they were aware there was a lot of demand for funding at the moment with several large-scale projects planned for the city, but they were confident the community would support the project.
“It’s a pretty ambitious goal, but we know Southland as a region [understands the need for the facility] and gets things done.”
Mr O’Brien said with the ageing population in New Zealand, everyone at some point would be touched by someone they knew who was living with dementia.
“By donating now, people can be part of the legacy to give those living with dementia freedom, a sense of purpose and better health and wellbeing outcomes.”
ILT Foundation had granted funding to develop the concept design for the development, which was expected to be completed by March next year.
If the balance of funding was secured, construction was expected to begin in November next year and be completed by June 2023.
Once completed, Calvary Hospital and its rest-home residents and hospital patients would be transitioned to the new village.