AFTER more than four years in the planning, Bushland Health Group's new 40 bed dementia specific unit at the Bushland Place Retirement Village in Taree will open this week.
The new unit is in the former Bushland Place Nursing Home building that has been extensively redeveloped by local builder, Chris O'Neill into 40 single rooms with ensuites.
The unit will provide a secure and pleasant environment for residents with dementia and will include a sensory room modelled on the highly successful room at Karingal Gardens.
With funds provided by Taree Lions Club, the sensory room will contain a fibre optic wall hanging and bubble column to provide therapeutic benefits to residents. This will greatly assist in calming and soothing residents.
With the incidence of dementia expected to increase threefold in the community over the next 35 years, the new unit is a welcome addition to dementia care in the Manning Valley.
Bushland Health Group has also commenced construction of another 40 bed extension at its Banyula Lodge facility at Old Bar that will double the capacity of this facility to 80 when completed and allow ageing in place.
The increase in places will also address the need for dementia specific care into the future and is expected to be finished in mid 2014.