Health Minister Tony Ryall has today opened two 20 bed dementia units at Bob Owens Retirement Village in Tauranga.
"Caring for more and more people with dementia will be one of the major challenges for any government in ten years' time. That's why the National Government is investing so significantly in dementia services now," said Mr Ryall.
"Dementia is a severe and devastating disorder for both sufferers and their families and as the numbers of New Zealanders living longer increase, the number of people with dementia will also grow.
"The opening of the new unit is meeting a need for more dementia beds in Tauranga and provides an opportunity for people with dementia to remain in the area where they lived prior to entering residential care.
"This Government is committed to ensuring people with dementia, receive quality services, and live as good a life as possible - whether they live at home or in residential care.
"We are increasing funding for dementia beds by $70 million over the next four years. In addition there will be $10 million over four years for community based dementia services.
"District Health Boards are also expanding and improving their local services for older people, including those with dementia.
"They are developing integrated dementia care resources so people with dementia and their families know what services are available to assist them in their particular stage of dementia. The resources will also assist GPs to know what service is best for a patient to be referred to.
"As DHBs develop their dementia resources it will identify any gaps in support for patients, their families and providers and where they can make improvements.
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