Your super is bringing an exciting development in dementia care to life: Glenview’s Korongee Village in Glenorchy, Tasmania. We spent five minutes with Glenview CEO Lucy O'Flaherty as the first sod was turned in the new village.
This project has drawn global attention – what impact do you hope it will have in the longer term?
The timing of this project highlights the importance of changing how we think about, respond to and provide services in the aged care sector. With Australia having one of the best aged care systems globally, Korongee returns to simple home truths of ’it takes a village’, pushing the boundaries in terms of not doing what has been done before and doing something innovative and different.
We hope the longer term impact is that this starts a chain reaction, giving others a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of possibilities. Korongee will build the evidence base for this approach so others can use it to create their own change.
What has been the reaction in the local community?
The local community has been vastly positive with comments of support, such as “it’s about time,” and “it’s great you’re using international best practice" . The only negative comments have been to challenge that we can build and deliver on what we say we can.
How do you think this project will influence the future of dementia care in Australia?
I think creating spaces such as this village for people living with dementia enables a focus on the individual in a much more possible way. It highlights the value of living in small houses with people whose values you share and with whom you have something in common.
In large buildings the sense of institution is unavoidably present when you walk through the front door and well-meaning ideology can easily be lost. In a village, you walk into small homes, all with dementia design principles applied throughout (including design, acoustics, textures and patterns) and a sense of ‘every day’ is easier to maintain.
We hope that people will no longer feel they need to go to the Netherlands to see an example of village life for people living with dementia, and that they can visit Korongee instead.