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Creating safe environments for older people

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says there is now easier access to the latest and best approaches for building safe, secure, and stimulating care homes for people with dementia.

"Older people with dementia need close and continued contact with the real world. Things that enrich their lives such as plants and animals. At the same time they need to be monitored and protected all the time," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

The Secure Dementia Care Home Design Information Resource released today gives dementia service providers a handbook to help design the right environment.

"It includes simple ideas and fixes that combine stimulating environments with state-of-the-art monitoring and security features."

"Care providers who want to renovate, extend or build new care homes will find the design resource a useful guide through all phases of their project," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

In 2011, just over 48,000 New Zealanders had dementia. By 2026, it is estimated that figure with reach 78,000, an increase of over 60 percent.

"We are determined to make a difference in the lives of people with dementia by providing the services people need," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

"The number of dementia beds has increased 53 per cent since 2008, from 2,803 to 4,290 beds. The care is there for our older people who need it most when they can no longer live independent lives in their own homes," Mr Lotu-Iiga says

Since July 2008, there have been 2,500 new beds in new aged care facilities, and 1,800 more beds from the expansion of existing facilities.

The Secure Dementia Care Home Design Information Resource and more information is available at http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/secure-dementia-care-home-design-information-resource

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