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Living in a Specialised Dementia unit


You may be surprised that Specialised Dementia units look much like other Rest Homes and do similar things. They enjoy sing-alongs, being pampered by the hair dresser, pottering in the gardens and taking part in activities guided by the diversional therapist.  Many of the activities are integrated with Rest Home residents while others are specific to Dementia residents. Staff often take residents in small groups, outside the unit on walks and outings in the Rest Home van.  
The general mood in a Specialised Dementia unit is calm and light, active but not busy. 


Take a look at what some of our residents have been up to on the webpage gallery at Addington.

Families play an important role by including the resident in their normal family life, with outings, family home visits and taking them on family holidays. Small private lounges in the unit, let families visit the resident when they want, without interruption from other residents. This is great for sharing meals.  Surrounded by family, with the smells and taste of favourite foods triggering memories and conversation - it feels like home.

What does a Dementia unit look like?

Residents enjoy the freedom of wandering inside and out within the secure environment. This helps many people with dementia who become agitated if they are unable to move and touch things. Dementia sensory gardens, specifically designed so residents can get pleasure from smelling, touching and tasting the plants, feature in some units. Other gardens have familiar items, such as letterboxes, bus stops and park benches, so residents can check for post that a staff member may have left them. Some units even have resident animals such as chickens, rabbits and cats!

Familiar items in the resident’s room such as a favourite chair, pictures of family or paintings to decorate their room, help residents feel settled. Some places paint the bedroom doors different colours or put individual pictures on the doors, so residents can find their rooms easily. The décor and types of furnishings throughout the unit are carefully chosen to promote calmness in the residents and to ensure their safety.



You may also be interested in:


What is Dementia?
Our staff and how they personalise care plans
Is it time to consider Dementia Care?

Find Dementia Care near you

Getting started - Important steps for moving into Dementia Care

Why choose our Care Homes



  • "To the amazing staff, thank you so much for all the love and care that you showered on Dad. Your kindness has humbled our family and we so appreciate it, as did Dad. What you do everyday is truly incredible so thank you." - Daughter of an Oceania Resident

  • "Our family are extremely grateful for the compassionate and professional care given to our Father at Addington Lifestyle Care. The staff are extremely dedicated and always strived to ensure his dignity was maintained and all aspects of his person respected." - Daughter of an Oceania Resident

  • "You hear so many bad stories about elderly people in care and very few good reports – I felt I have to let you know the team are very dedicated and committed to their residents." - Friend of an Oceania Resident

  • "Thank you for keeping us informed about our Grandparents progress. It's hard when you live so far away, but knowing they were in good hands helped us get through each day. You are Angels from heaven and do an incredible job." - Grandchildren of Oceania Residents

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Oceania provides Rest Home, Hospital, Dementia, Respite and Palliative/End of Life Care, as well as Independent Retirement Village living, at over 40 New Zealand locations.

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