Pioneering dementia village ditches offices in favour of digital care system

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A pioneering dementia village in Tasmania has done away with traditional methods thanks to the implementation of a digital care system that allow staff to plan, record and monitor the care of residents in real-time.

Korongee, a community village designed specifically for people living with dementia, in Hobart, has been reaping the rewards of thinking outside the norm and embracing technological innovation – observing a 400 per cent increase in the evidencing of care notes using Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system.

The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the six-acre village offers a glimpse into what the future of digitalisation in care could look like, where its 32 on-site staff are able to better cater to the needs of their residents and evidence their care along the way. This innovative approach liberates staff from traditional, non-mobile documentation systems that only serve to distance staff from residents with impersonal, disconnected documentation systems.

Lucy O’Flaherty, CEO of Glenview Community Services, which runs Korongee Village and has implemented Person Centred Software across its other homes, said: “The digital care system has allowed our team to evidence care on the go in real-time, enabling them to pick up so much more evidence than they used to. Given the climate in Australia at the moment around the Royal Commissions into the quality and safety of aged care, that evidence is critical. It means we can see what’s happening and analyse what’s changing, what’s shifting, and why. Ultimately, it helps us to get a much more nuanced understanding of the care needs.”

The realisation of a nine-year vision, Korongee officially opened its doors in 2020 in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, where residents can enjoy typical village life, living in one of four quiet cul-de-sacs of eight-bedroom houses. The village model is centred around a Tasmanian-style boulevard complete with a hairdresser, grocery store, café bar, wellness centre with GP and podiatrist, gym, and cinema.

The unique design is centred on evidence that suggests small house living as well as connections with recognisable sights and natural spaces, can have a huge impact on overall happiness, health and wellbeing. Because of this, the landscape of Korongee reflects dementia design principles, providing residents with multiple visual cues to help them easily find their way around the gardens and village grounds.

The premise is that the village environment will change the trajectory of care and increase people’s longevity in terms of length of time, as well as their quality of life during that time.

Lucy added: “COVID-19 has really opened our eyes up to what technology can do for us, and also sharpened our pencils in terms of how we can innovate. Our team is already racing ahead planning where they can use the software next. It’s an unusual situation as a CEO when your team is telling you they want to roll-out more technology!”

Tammy Sherwood, CEO of Person Centred Software Australia, said: “It’s incredible to see what Lucy and her team have created at Korongee. From the unique model of care to the utilisation of technology, it could provide a blueprint for the way dementia care is carried out in the future. We’re delighted to see staff are spending more time with residents while evidencing more care than ever before via our software. It highlights yet again the benefits of going digital.”

For more information on Glenview Community Services’ Korongee Village, visit https://glenview.org.au/korongee/

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