Retirement village scales back expansion plans, plans to upgrade Care wings

Kerikeri Retirement Village has changed its plans to expand its Care facility and will focus instead on upgrading and re-building parts of it. The charitable company has also scaled back its ambitions for additional retirement accommodation and aims to build 80 new independent living units, bringing its total to 200 instead of the 300 it planned in 2018.

The new accommodation will be built on land the Village already owns on adjacent Wendywood Lane and Stella Drive.

Kerikeri Retirement Village chief executive Hilary Sumpter said the Village’s retirement accommodation plans had been scaled back because the need identified in 2018 had now largely been met by other providers in Kerikeri.

This, in turn, had led to the decision to drop plans to expand its Care facility. It will instead upgrade its existing rest-home and dementia accommodation to better reflect current best practice in aged care.

It plans to introduce care suites, en suite rooms large enough to incorporate an increasing level of care as people age so they don’t have to be shifted from place to place within the Care facility.

“This is the approach most operators are taking with their new-builds and will boost considerably the quality of life of our most frail residents,” Ms Sumpter said. “It will eliminate much of the source of confusion and anxiety caused by residents having to move home, effectively, every time their care requirements escalate.”

The secure wing for people with dementia will also be completely re-built to better reflect current thinking on how best to care for people with dementia while enabling as much freedom and independence as possible.

The Village will run a community appeal to help fund the refurbishment of its Care facility. Its current income is nowhere near enough to cover the cost of building aged care rooms today, estimated at more than $300,000 per room. So it is asking people to consider either a donation to the Village or a bequest, the act of leaving a lump-sum in a Will ear-marked for a specific cause or purpose, to enable the re-build in the next few years.

“Our Village was built through the generosity of our Mid North community and now we’re hoping this same sprit will enable us to overhaul and upgrade our much-needed, much-loved rest-home and dementia wings,” Ms Sumpter said.

She repeated her call, made at regular intervals over the past four or five years, for other retirement accommodation providers to build their own Care facilities to support the needs of their residents. And for local authorities to make building and resource consents contingent on such facilities being built and made operational in the early stages of development.

“It’s just not right or proper that the entire burden of bed-based care for the elderly should rest on the shoulders of community-led, charitable organisations like ours while the corporate providers get away with focusing their effort on the profitable side of things, the retirement accommodation.”

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