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Holidays and Help for Everyone

January 11, 2016

When Stephen Horrell used to visit hospitals and rest homes, he was disappointed that the people there didn’t get to experience holidays or trips away, often because of the limited resources the destinations had.

An idea sparked in his mind, and fast forward to present day, a beautiful home stands in Kaikoura - named Kakatu Retreat. It overlooks the ocean and a picturesque golf course, but the best thing about it? It’s a purpose built, luxury facility for people with disabilities.

Four rooms house two hospital beds in each, plus rooms for carers and specialist equipment, which means that anyone can come and be taken care of (or take care of themselves) while enjoying all the Kaikoura region has to offer. Amenities include:

  • Wheelchairs and walkers
  • Dialysis room
  • Wheelchair height kitchen and laundry
  • Patient lifter
  • Smart TVs
  • 360 degree views
  • And much more!

While there are great accessible tour companies that operate in New Zealand, men like Horrell are leading the way in the realm of purpose built facilities, and he plans on building more around New Zealand and Australia.

Nowadays it's easy for people with disabilities to travel the world, staying at appropriate accommodation and having access to more and more tourist facilities – often ones they wouldn't have been able to attend previously. But what about those who can't travel – for example an elderly person with dementia? The answer lies in a small village in Weesp, in the Netherlands.

Dementia Village

Hogewyk is a quaint little village. It has restaurants and cafes, a post shop, theatre, grocery store and well-kept town square. Seems pretty normal, right? Except all of its residents have severe cases of dementia or Alzheimer's. Built in 2009, Hogewyk village is made to look just like a normal town – save for a few differences. 23 units house six to eight residents, each with different designs from the 1950s, 1970s and 2000s. Plain-clothed caretakers help with in-house washing, cooking and bathing, and even the "workers" at the local stores are trained as carers. No currency is exchanged, and a subtle yet secure village perimeter allows residents to wander, shop and socialise as they please – living a relative normal life without being in danger.

Specialists, and doctors from all over the world have visited Hogewyk to marvel at the village, and see the positive effects the "free living" has had on the residents. Having normal routines, fun activities, clubs and social lives has helped the residents remain calm and comfortable, while having less dependency on heavy medication.

What does the future hold?

All around the world, populations are ageing, and with that comes the need for more support and more facilities. Other European countries are soon to follow suit with specialist care villages, and other care facilities are expected to pop up across the world.

We can prepare right here at home too – look after your future and the future of your family by adding a Vestner lift or elevator to your home or business. These long-lasting, economical solutions offer great help for anyone with a disability or reduced mobility. Are you ready to protect and ease into the future? Contact us today to find out more.

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Filed under News \ Quality of Life

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