Fundraising campaign to fund plans for Australia’s first dementia village

May 17, 2017

Plans are underway for Australia’s first dementia village with the launch of a fundraising campaign to raise $300,000 for a feasibility study and development plan. Based on the Dutch dementia village model Hogeweyk, the proposed site for Australia’s 150-place dementia village is in Heathcote, Victoria.


An artist impression of Australia’s first dementia village

With local care facilities experiencing difficulties in managing severe dementia behaviours, Heathcote Health decided to work with community partners to explore dementia village option for Heathcote explains Steven Abbott, Manager Community Partnerships, City of Greater Bendigo. “This was also something that the community felt important to include in the Heathcote and District Community Plan,” he adds.


As well as focusing on developing models of care that meet consumer needs and are cost effective, the village will also include facilities for teaching and research, and a workforce development centre of excellent in dementia care.

Heathcote Dementia Village Steering Group Chair Dan Douglass says the village will set a benchmark for best practice care. “It will feature models of care set around a real life, safe ‘village environment’ where the cost of using all the facilities will be built into the affordable price of living there,” he says. 

“The village will limit the risks for those people caring for dementia sufferers and, by serving as a medical research and training facility, medical breakthroughs implemented at the village will translate to wide-ranging benefits for those people whose loved ones aren’t living there.

The village will be located on approximately five acres and will have a number of tailored accommodation settings and separate amenities blocks together with a supermarket, hairdresser, theatre, and eateries. Residents will also experience the traditional healthcare system and have access to care farming (agriculture), healing gardens (gardening), nature conservation (eco-therapy) and caring for animals.



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