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Korongee Village opening

Korongee Village, a purpose-built development for people living with dementia, officially opened in Glenorchy, Tasmania on 14 July 2020.

Korongee is a partnership between not-for-profit aged care provider Glenview Community Services, health sector superannuation fund HESTA and Social Ventures Australia, which manages HESTA’s Social Impact Investment Trust which contributed $19 million to the development.

The village, in Hobart’s northern suburbs, features 12 houses in four cul-de-sacs, a community centre, gardens, hair salon, general store, café and wellness centre, and has been informed by extensive research on best practice models of dementia care.

Glenview CEO Lucy O’Flaherty said Korongee was a “game-changer in addressing the big social challenges of dementia”.

“This is an opportunity, with a brand-new site, to create something special,” she said.

Ms O’Flaherty said the timing of this project highlights the need to change how care is provided for people who are living with dementia and are no longer able to live in their own home.

“Korongee returns to the simple home truths of ‘it takes a village’, pushing the boundaries in terms of doing something innovative and different in aged care,” she said.

Glenview CEO Lucy O’Flaherty (right) with the Governor of Tasmania, Kate Warner, at the Korongee Village launch 

The village design is based on the small house model, with a tailored matching process used to determine the most suitable house for each resident, based on shared values. The purpose of the tailoring process is to increase social engagement opportunities and enhance wellbeing for residents.

A questionnaire, developed by Glenview in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, guides this matching process. The questionnaire results match each resident to the household that is most appropriate, based on what they most value.

“Residents will live with others whose values they share. The entire village has been built with dementia design principles throughout, so a sense of everyday familiarity is much easier to maintain,” Ms O’Flaherty said.

“In large buildings, the sense of institution is unavoidably present when you walk through the front door and any well-meaning ideology can easily be lost.

“With a village like Korongee, you walk into small homes…and a sense of the everyday is much easier to maintain.”

Life at Korongee mirrors the community surrounding it, with each house being situated in one of the four quiet cul-de-sacs, looking just like a typical Tasmanian streetscape with recognisable sights and natural spaces.

The landscape of Korongee reflects dementia design principles, providing residents with multiple visual cues to help them easily find their way around the gardens and village grounds.

Some of the homes and the general store and community centre at the newly-opened Korongee Village in Tasmania  

“The design of Korongee has been created from its inception with careful consideration of research, technology, dementia design in both internal and external environments, as well as calling upon known and emerging good practice themes,” said Ms O’Flaherty.

The dementia design elements behind Korongee

Hear the director of the Wicking Dementia Education and Research Centre, Professor James Vickers, and Glenview CEO Lucy O’Flaherty talk about how dementia design elements and person-centred care can have a big impact on the lives of the residents at Korongee Village: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=47&v=MlC1xZlureQ&feature=emb_logo

Qld’s CarFreeMe trial in the US

The US National Institute of Health and National Institute on Aging has given more than $610,000 in funding to trial the University of Queensland’s (UQ) CarFreeMe program in the US.

Professor Nancy Pachana and Dr Theresa Scott from UQ will collaborate with a team from University of Minnesota led by Professor Joseph Gaugler to trial the evidence-based driving cessation support program for family carers and people with dementia.

“If the trial is successful, implementation and wide-spread delivery of this evidence-based resource could follow…,” Dr Scott said.

People can access the CarFreeMe dementia-specific program in Australia by participating in research trials which are being conducted via telehealth nationally.

For details, visit https://carfreeme.com.au/

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