New research on dementia in retirement villages

Friday, September 26, 2014 By Alice B

New research on dementia in retirement villages

An upcoming research project will explore the uncharted topic of living with dementia in retirement villages.

Conducted by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, the research will measure the extent to which people with dementia are supported to age-in-place, meaning without upheaval to an aged care facility.

Supported by the IRT Foundation and the Retirement Living Council, the research will examine the role of community care services, the village operators and other members of the village community.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO John Watkins said when people get a diagnosis of dementia they want to carry on with their lives.

“And they have a right to do so,” Mr Watkins said.

“Retirement villages are a popular choice for many older people and we know dementia is an emerging issue.”

“The operators of retirement villages will have an important role to play in meeting the housing and support needs of people with dementia in Australia.”

With the final results to be released mid next year, the research project will assess the level of informal support available to retirement village residents, particularly those living alone.

It will also examine just how well retirement villages are designed to cater to dementia residents, both structurally and environmentally.

Executive director of the Retirement Living Council Mary Wood said the results will be invaluable to retirement village operators in providing them the information needed to ensure all residents showing symptoms of dementia get the support they need.

“A retirement village is a great environment for senior Australians who want to stay independent but need some extra support,” Ms Wood said.

“This research will ensure villages can support the widest group of people possible.”

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