For Mohammed Shuaib, the opening Makoha Rest Home is a dream come true.

It's the culmination of years of hard work, and a strong belief that elderly people in rest home care deserved better.

That dream was realised with the rest home's official opening this weekend.

The psychiatrist and psychogeriatrician moved to New Zealand form his native South Africa in 2000 and admitted to being shocked at the way elderly were treated.


Dr Shuaib said he heard stories of the bad condition of rest homes, and decided he wanted to purchase one, although it wasn't that simple.

He said in his culture it was considered that the older someone got, the wiser they were.

"People look at them for advice. Their respect and authority grows."

Dr Shuaib said the difference between his culture and what he was seeing was puzzling.

"This was like my dream project. I want to run it the way I wanted to run it."

The idea had been almost 10 years in the making. Dr Shuaib said when he got the chance to purchase the Ruihi St property he jumped at the chance.

Dr Shuaib said the property was in "a bad shape" when he purchased it.

He since increased the size of the bedrooms and added ensuites to 24 of the bedrooms because he didn't like the idea of residents having to walk far to communal toilets.


Dr Shuaib said they'd also installed more heat pumps to the rooms so they were a better temperature, put in new carpet, repainted and installed new flat screen televisions in the rooms as well as new furniture and beds.

He'd employed a qualified chef and had a focus on employing more trained staff.

Despite the rest home's official opening this weekend, the hard work isn't finished yet for Dr Shuaib.

His next project is to set up a specialised dementia unit at the rest home because of an increased demand for that sort of care.

Dr Shuaib said he wanted to look at opening the unit in the next "six months or so".