Levin's Summerset by the Ranges is building a 20-bed pilot dementia facility, the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Summerset sales manager Joanne Welch said the facility will enable family members to stay with loved ones, and residents will have the room for pets, their own furniture and personal items important for memories.

"Currently dementia residents go into 'lock-up' and their whole life goes into one room.

With this flagship facility residents will be able to live in their own small home," she said.


The 20-ensuite bed facility, with 10 available for DHB non-paying patients, is to be designed around an attractive courtyard and will have specialised staff to cater for all the residents' needs.

"Staff will put the person's needs first before their illness."

Mrs Welch said Summerset recognised the growing demand throughout New Zealand for dementia care.

"Because our Summerset is an award-winning village head office wanted us to roll out their first test village, and from there implement dementia facilities in all new villages and some existing villages. With 21 existing villages and five in the pipeline, this is great news for dementia patients in New Zealand."

She said current village residents will have priority access to all care facilities.

"We will be offering continuum of care from independent living, rest home care, hospital care and specialised dementia care."

Horowhenua District Mayor Brendan Duffy visited Summerset by the Ranges last weekend to mark international Day of the Older Person and celebrate the build of a ground-breaking dementia facility set to open in November.

"Whose responsibility is it to look after people as they age and who makes the call about how we respond to the number in our community that are getting older?," he asked.

"As a collective it is our reasonability, we are ahead of the game in this district in terms of finding community driven solutions."

Mayor Duffy said the addition of a dementia facility is a direct reflection of people finding solutions in Horowhenua.

"I respect that commercially there are initiatives taking place but in reality, over the next 10 years, there will be 1000 more people in this community who are going to need dementia support. Many won't have family around to look after them," he said.

The new dementia facility will officially open on November 23.