Caring for those living with dementia

As Bupa Bethesda Care Home's Chris McCulloch, Care Home Manager and Mark Bravo, Unit Coordinator take families on tours of their new dementia community, their smiles show a team full of pride in their new development.

They have much to be proud of, the 20 bed dementia community opens to the public this week, welcoming their first two residents. September is Dementia Awareness Month and Christchurch has a real shortage of care homes for those living with dementia.

Chris says the community has been asking for more focus on dementia in Christchurch for a long time and the new community will go some way to fulfilling the need for more dementia specialist care.

"We're really pleased to open our community for people living with dementia. It's a safe and warm environment with gardens surrounding the rooms and comfortable lounge areas for families and residents to relax. I'm sure people will be very comfortable here," Chris says.

More good news for Bupa Bethesda as the care home recently received its third consecutive four-year accreditation from the Ministry of Health.

"I'm so proud of the team here, they work so hard for the residents and our track record speaks for itself," Chris added.

With 70,000 Kiwis living with dementia, Alzheimers New Zealand predicts the number will increase to more than 170,000 by 2050.

Earlier this year, Bupa was named the first aged care provider to receive the national Dementia Friendly Award from Alzheimers New Zealand.