Purpose-built dementia unit to open in Limerick

 The first unit of its kind in the country is to be constructed in Bruff

Áine Fitzgerald


Áine Fitzgerald



Purpose-built dementia unit to open in Limerick

CareBright staff Colette Ryan, Majella Murphy, Richard Kennedy and Monica Hanley are looking forward to the completion of the unit

CONSTRUCTION work has begun on Ireland’s first purpose-built dementia community which is to be based in County Limerick.

CareBright Community, which will cost almost €5.5m, will be set on a four acre site in the heart of Bruff. It will provide independent living with a strong sense of community for those living with dementia.

At the moment, the project has just €980,000 left to fundraise to see the completion of the project.

It is anticipated that the project will be completed in 12 months.

Currently over 48,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland which will increase to over 141,000 by 2041.

Despite common misconceptions, dementia is not an age related disease with 4,066 people under the age of 65 living with dementia in Ireland.

CareBright will create a safe, happy and energising environment which will enhance the lives of everyone who experiences the community.

It will comprise of 18 homes, each of which will have its own living room, bedroom, bathroom and private garden.

The CareBright Community and day care hub will offer a range of amenities including a cafe, beauty salon, gym, mens’ sheds and gardens for everyone to relax and enjoy.

CareBright Community, unlike other models, will provide personalised supports and services based on individual needs and choices to enable people to live for as long as they wish in a place of their choosing.

“People living in this community will feel safe and included,” said Colette Ryan, general manager of CareBright.

 “It will be a place where they will flourish. Imagine having your own new home, where you will be surrounded by all the things you love and cherish, that favourite chair, family photos, music you love and enjoy, a comfy bed with no alarm clock buzzing at 6am making choices which suit you. You can sit in your own private garden and enjoy the sunshine or if you enjoy gardening you can just potter around there or you can take a stroll, stretch your legs and garden in our expansive working and sensory gardens. When family and friends come to visit, you can prepare lunch in the kitchen and enjoy afternoon tea in the community café. If they wish to stay over, they can do so in your own home or our overnight accommodation on-site.”

CareBright Community will be a person centred, model of care based on the very successful household model being used at De Hogeweyk, Holland.

Research on best practise models by CareBright has found that small scale household models have a positive impact on the quality of life of people living with dementia. The staff adapt the approach they take with residents which goes against routinised care and the development of institutionalised cultures. This creates the potential for closer and more personalised support and care. This personalised care and quality time with people impacts positively on the quality of life and overall ambience of the community.

Majella Murphy, business development manager, CareBright added: “Just imagine a 70-year-old man with dementia, looking in a mirror and seeing his 30-year-old self and believing in the picture he sees. Sixty per cent of our clients are living with dementia.”

A lot of people, living with dementia she said, are physically well and can live productive, healthy lifestyles in their own homes with the help of a strong support system.

“Unfortunately for those without a support system, a nursing home is often the only option. We visited several sites in the UK and Holland and found the successful household model being used in Holland was similar to the vision we had in mind,” she added.