SA community-owned operator Boandik to begin building first dementia village

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August will mark the start of construction of community-owned Boandik’s ground-breaking 48-bed dementia village in Mount Gambier, 450km south-east of Adelaide CBD.

After five years of research and two years collaboration with architect ThomsonAdsett, dementia specialists, families of those with the disorder, memory support and housekeeping staff, the 48-bed Ridland Villas project is about to realised.

“The small house model is something that’s being promoted through the Royal Commission (into Aged Care Quality and Safety), and something that really works well,” Ms McGinty said.

“Because it’s been a long process, we know that we have a quality building and the design is really going to work for people living with dementia.”

Inspired by the Umpherston Sinkhole in Mount Gambier, Boandik CEO Gillian McGinty said the design is based on the landscape to create a familiar environment for residents. There are chickens to feed and vegetable gardens to tend to.

“The arcade street area is so important, we have a general store, a cafe, a laundromat, hairdressers, consulting rooms, it’s a little street within the village and they can go and do something meaningful in all those places.

“As people get older, their abilities to be involved in things may reduce and that can often lead to depression.

“People living with dementia may not remember what they used to do and remember how they used to engage, so it’s about providing opportunities for them to see lots of things that they can be engaged in so they don’t have to make decisions about it.”