News & Events

Villages to be dementia friendly

April 19, 2017

OCAV is about to start work on enabling its four villages to become ‘dementia friendly’ over the next three years.


The OCAV Council has signed off on a plan that takes the ‘dementia friendly village’ concept to the next stage which includes education for staff and volunteers, all new buildings to be designed appropriately, and all existing buildings and surrounding pathways to be upgraded.


“We are committed to making our villages world-best when it comes to helping older people living with dementia,” said CEO Phillip Wohlers.


“The commitment has not been made lightly and the investment is considerable, but for the Association, becoming a dementia-friendly organisation is living our mission of providing accommodation and support to older Victorians in need.”

In 2014, approximately 184,000 Australians – 5.7 per cent of the over-65 population – were living in retirement villages. This rate is projected to increase to 7.5 per cent in 2025, which means that there will be more than double the number of residents currently living in retirement villages in 10 years.

Research indicates that the number of people living with dementia is set to increase. Currently an estimated 342,800 Australians are living with dementia and, without a significant medical breakthrough that figure is expected to soar to almost 900,000 by 2050. It is already the second leading cause of death in Australia.

“Dementia is an issue that is only going to become more prevalent generally, in our community, and in retirement villages as well,” said Mr Wohlers.

The two major builds about to start at Leith Park and Rushall Park have been designed to meet universal best standards for people living with dementia, and will ensure that all residents will be able to live in age appropriate housing design and within supportive communities.

“We anticipate that our concerted effort will lead to reduced hospital stays, improved mental wellbeing and delayed entry into aged care,” said Mr Wohlers.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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