Nobody likes the idea of putting their loved ones into a retirement home.

Just the thought of handing over care of the people who fed, clothed and looked after me for years fills me with guilt.

Having parents in their 40s, I hope not to have to do this anytime soon (or at all), but for some families, it's a necessity they are facing now.

Read more: World-class CARE Village officially opens in Ngongotaha, Rotorua
36 jobs to go as Rotorua rest home Cantabria sells to national provider


That is why it is so exciting to see a world-class care facility officially open in Rotorua.

The CARE Village, in Ngongotaha, which officially opened its doors on Saturday, is an aged-care community offering hospital, rest home and dementia-level care.

Developed by Whare Aroha CARE and modelled on the De Hogeweyk village in Holland, it's the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The village was built on a 1.3ha lakeside site to replicate a small-scale New Zealand town with cafes, a supermarket and a main street.

Residents were moved from Whare Aroha Care's original premises to the new facility six months ago and the village is now taking new residents.

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the village before it opened and was blown away.

The thought that went into the different types of homes to make its residents feel at ease was phenomenal - right down to the light fittings and furniture styles.

This is a place that proves people can have the best of everything in their twilight years - the necessary full-time care, without the loss of their identity or independence.


I hope we begin to see more places like this pop up around New Zealand as I can see this model becoming the new way of providing aged care.