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Back Pōneke House offers modern approach to dementia care

29 January 2018

Sensory stimulation to help dementia patients remember is part of the specialised care being offered at a new dementia care service in Wellington.

The new dementia care space has been created at the Ultimate Care Group’s renamed Pōneke House rest home, located at Constable St, Newtown.

It will be officially opened at 1.30pm on Wednesday, 31 January. Cutting the ribbon will be Ultimate Care Group’s General Manager of Clinical Services, Carole Kaffes, and Facility Manager, Karen Gear.

Ms Gear, says the space was designed by experts in dementia care, with a strong focus on sensory stimulation.

“While dementia can’t be cured, we know that in the right, caring environment, treatment can help,” she says. “That includes evoking memories that promote a sense of wellbeing for our residents.”

“Our rooms have been decorated with special art, and there’s a sensory wall and sensory rooms that let residents remember certain tastes and sounds. We also have raised gardens which our residents can grow seasonal vegetables in, and a garden walk featuring intriguing smells like coriander, thyme and curry, and bright colours that change with the seasons.”

Ms Gear says the Ultimate Care Group has many years’ experience providing excellent dementia care at other locations around the country.

“We know that caring for someone with dementia can be very challenging, and we are here to support the residents and their families. Our dementia-trained staff focus on the person, not the disease, enabling us to create a home-away-from-home environment that helps our residents thrive.”

Pōneke House, formerly Ultimate Care Group Mt Victoria, is named after the Māori transliteration of "Port Nick", or Port Nicholson, the region’s original European settlement.

Ms Kaffes says the opening of the new service makes Pōneke House the fourth of its kind in the group’s nationwide portfolio.

“That means greater choice for those experiencing dementia, their loved ones, and the professionals who help find suitable accommodation,” she says.

“While the opening ceremony will be limited to our current residents and their relatives, plus local GPs and referrers, anyone interested in viewing the new facility is welcome to arrange a private tour.”