First of its kind

The CARE Village was founded on the belief that there had to be a better way of delivering aged-care, one which not only preserved the lifestyles of those needing care, but also challenged traditional institutional practices in the wider industry.

It is the first of its kind to be built in the world outside of the Netherlands. The concept of giving people in need of care the opportunity to go about their normal lives is inspired by the renowned Dutch dementia village, De Hogeweyk.

A long history of care

Rotorua Continuing Care Trust was established in 1989 to provide a residential aged care service following the streamlining of hospital care including what were known as geriatric wards. A former nurses home on Hinemaru Street was home to the service until it’s long term lease expired in 2016. In its latter years management had significantly improved the delivery of care within the parameters of the former nurses home environment. The expiration of the lease provided the opportunity to spearhead New Zealand’s first social-based aged-care environment.

The best ideas are often the simplest

The CARE Village vision is to create a lifestyle that gives the elderly, including those with dementia, as normal a life as possible and provides an opportunity for them to not only exist, but thrive. We believe that familiarity, comfort and a stimulating environment have the greatest impact on overall health, happiness and wellbeing.

A shared vision

Research led Chief Executive, Thérèse Jeffs, to renowned Dutch dementia village, De Hogeweyk. Inspired by de Hogeweyk’s ‘normal living’, a vision was adopted and the design blueprint was draughted to reflect lifestyles that are ‘normal’ to New Zealanders. After months of planning and fundraising, construction on the 1.3ha lakefront property that Rotorua Continuing Care Trust had acquired for the build started in 2015. The 81 bed village was completed in September 2017. It is the first aged-care village to open outside of the Netherlands that is modelled on De Hogeweyk.

Endorsed by De Hogweyk founders

Management worked very closely with the founders of De Hogeweyk to design The CARE Village. De Hogeweyk co-founder Jannette Spiering was in attendance for the opening and said it made her extremely proud to see The CARE Village opening. “The fact that people with dementia can continue their lives in a normal surrounding supported by professional staff adds so much to their quality of life. Research has shown that besides the medical aspects of care, wellbeing is also crucial. This style of care is just the first step in creating normalcy for people with dementia and their families.”

People before profits

This ground-breaking aged-care concept is governed by the not-for-profit Rotorua Continuing Care Trust. In a sector with an increasing number of for-profit providers, Rotorua Continuing Care Trust remains focused on its people-centred vision and values including the decision to invest in this social-based model. The CARE Village was formally known as Whare Aroha Rest Home and Hospital, and latterly, Whare Aroha CARE.

Arrange a tour

After you or your loved one has been assessed as needing care, please contact us to arrange a tour of The CARE Village. During this visit we will give you an information pack including enrolment forms.