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Impact investing helps fund innovative approach to dementia care

21 July 2020 at 6:25 pm
Luke Michael
An estimated 459,000 Australians are currently living with dementia 

Luke Michael | 21 July 2020 at 6:25 pm


Impact investing helps fund innovative approach to dementia care
21 July 2020 at 6:25 pm

An estimated 459,000 Australians are currently living with dementia 

A residential aged care village pioneering a new approach for people with dementia has opened in Tasmania thanks to a $19 million impact investment from HESTA, which is calling on other large investors to follow suit and help grow the Australian impact market.

The Korongee Village in Hobart was developed through a partnership between HESTA, not-for-profit aged care provider Glenview, and Social Ventures Australia – which manages HESTA’s $70 million Social Impact Investment Trust. 

The village features 12 houses in four cul-de-sacs, a community centre, gardens, a general store, a café and a wellness centre for people living with dementia.

Glenview CEO Lucy O’Flaherty said this model was informed by extensive research on best practice models of dementia care.

“The unique design of Korongee, and the way its residents are cared for, is centred on evidence that supports small house living,” O’Flaherty said.

“An important element of this model is including familiar sights and natural spaces which can have a huge impact on overall happiness, health and wellbeing.”

The small house model design also uses a tailored matching process to match residents with people who share the same values as them. 

This tailoring is expected to address the challenges of institutional care and boost social engagement opportunities and wellbeing for residents.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians, with an estimated 459,000 Australians currently living with dementia.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey told Pro Bono News the industry super fund was proud to partner with Glenview on this project and support innovation in dementia care. 

“We believe that if we’re to achieve our mission to make a difference to the financial future of every member, we must also consider how we can help address major social challenges like dementia,” Blakey said.

“So HESTA thinks and acts holistically about how we achieve sustainable investment returns, while contributing to a healthier society and planet.”

Blakey is calling on other large investors to follow suit and help grow the Australian impact market – which is now worth an estimated $20 billion.

She said if even a tiny slice of the almost $3 trillion super industry started investing for impact it would make a huge difference to tackling big social challenges like dementia.

 “We hope our investment in important projects like Korongee encourage other large investors to contribute to Australia’s impact investment market,” she said.

“This will make a huge difference in how we address significant social challenges like dementia, and also help create jobs and opportunities for our members who work in health and community services.” 

Blakey added that HESTA’s impact investment program aimed to catalyse the development of Australia’s impact investment market.

“Hopefully, this will provide more impact investment opportunities with appropriate scale and risk and return characteristics and, over time, lower costs, while also creating growth and jobs in the industries where many of our members work,” she said.

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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