Fergusson Village receives dementia-friendly award

Celebrating the Alzheimer's NZ Dementia-Friendly award. From left, MP Chris Hipkins, Catherine Hall from Alzheimers NZ, ...

Celebrating the Alzheimer's NZ Dementia-Friendly award. From left, MP Chris Hipkins, Catherine Hall from Alzheimers NZ, Judy Bain from Bupa and Anne Schumacher from Alzheimers Wellington.

Fergusson Retirement Village's work to support residents with dementia has seen it become the first  to be recognised with an Alzheimer's New Zealand Dementia-Friendly Award.

The award recognises organisations making efforts to cater to people living with dementia. They must meet criteria across seven standards that form the recognition programme. 

The Fergusson Retirement Village is run by Bupa. Dementia care advisor Beth McDougall said achieving dementia-friendly status fitted with Bupa's purpose of longer, healthier, happier lives.

"Helping people living with dementia to live well, and ensuring that family and friends are properly supported is part of what we do," she said.

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"We're committed to playing a role in creating a dementia-friendly New Zealand, and look forward to implementing further initiatives across more of our retirement villages."

Fergusson Village manager Judy Bain  said initiatives such as increased signage, dementia awareness sessions with residents and working through the award standards had enhanced the knowledge and awareness of dementia. 

"While we had good policy and processes already in place, working closely with residents and our local Alzheimer's organisation has resulted in improvements to our village that, importantly, benefit our residents and their families. 

"Small changes can make a huge difference – something as simple as having a clock that shows the day, month and year has helped some of our residents," she said.

Bupa Fergusson Village resident Gladys Shalders said she was impressed with the award. 

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"As a resident I've learnt a lot about what dementia is and how we can all help people living with dementia to live well.  I try to look out for other residents, especially those living with dementia and I know they look out for each other.

"It's interesting to live with such a diverse group of people."

"We estimate there will be more than 170,000 people living with dementia by 2050 who need to be supported with very real, tangible and practical support," Alzheimer's NZ chief executive Catherine Hall said.

"That is why we created this dementia-friendly recognition programme. We celebrate Bupa's achievement as an important step along that path."

She called on the government to implement the New Zealand Framework for Dementia Care.

"Neither we, nor the government can afford to do nothing about what will be a major healthcare problem for our country."

 - Stuff

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