The residential aged care sector is pleased to see that a new dementia design handbook has been released as an information resource rather than formal guidelines.

The New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA) initially raised concerns that such guidelines could easily become regulation and subject providers to auditing provisions by HealthCERT around the design of secure dementia units, without the necessary funding to help them comply with this standard.

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says the Secure Dementia Care Home Design Information Resource gives dementia service providers a handbook to help design the right environment for their residents. He says it gives easier access to the latest and best approaches for building safe, secure, and stimulating care homes for people with dementia.

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

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.

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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