Tasmania is set to become home to Australia’s first purpose-built dementia village. Construction of the $25 million project is expected to commence in early 2018 in the suburb of Glenorchy in Hobart, complete with a supermarket, cinema, cafes, beauty salon, gardens, housing and other facilities all designed specifically to care for those living with the illness and run by specially trained staff.
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, with more than 413,106 Australians living with the illness, a number that’s predicted to increase to 536,164 by 2025. Residents will have the ability to move freely around the village within a safe and supportive environment and be part of a community by participating in everyday life activities.
The village is modelled on a number of similar villages internationally, particularly the dementia village of De Hogeweyk in the Netherlands, which has seen its residents live longer, eat better and take fewer medications. News of the planned village comes just a few months after issues surrounding capacity were highlighted when the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) launched a national inquiry into the financial and physical abuse of the elderly which culminated in a report released on 15 May 2017, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
The report contains recommendations for wide ranging reforms to combat elder abuse by carers or family members and protect those who have lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves. While those recommendations are being considered by the government, there are some important steps you can take now to ensure your best interests are protected by appointing the people you trust to make decisions for you in the event you lose the ability to manage your own affairs in the future.
What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts!