Friday, July 10, 2020

Caring for the old and forgetful

Aug 01. 2019
Junichiro Sato, chief executive of Hanno-Vejpong Geriatric Centre
Junichiro Sato, chief executive of Hanno-Vejpong Geriatric Centre
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By THE NATION

A brand new care facility for elderly Thais with dementia and other related diseases has now opened in Bangkok. The Bt150-million Hanno-Vejpong Geriatric Centre offers Japanese-style dementia care and hospitality for elderly Thais with Alzheimer’s and is aiming to become the leader in the Thai senior care market.

The Centre, which is housed in a six-storey building spread over more than 3,000 square metres, is a joint-venture between the Sato family, the founders of Hanno Geriatric Centre, which was one of the first geriatric hospitals specialising in dementia diseases in Japan, and Vejpong Pharmacy Company, which has more than A 100 years of experience in Thai and Chinese medicines. 

“Thailand is now an ageing society and is also seeing an increase in the number of elderly with dementia. It is therefore urgent that Thais understand dementia and how to look after the elderly with the disease,” noted Junichiro Sato, chief executive of Hanno-Vejpong Geriatric Centre. 

It offers Japanese dementia care expertise in customising care for the elderly by understanding their symptoms, background, personality and so on. The elderly who stay at HVGC are treated with respect by the staff, and the staff are trained to put themselves in the shoes of the elderly to understand causes of behaviour. 

HVGC also encourages elderly people with dementia to do Activities of Daily Living (ADL) so that they can still function alone as much as possible, as the greater the number of ADL, the better their self-esteem and quality of life. HVGC also focuses on recreational activities which stimulate the brain and provides an opportunity for the elderly to socialise with others as they used to do when they were younger.

HVGC is operated under the standard requirements and supervision of Japan’s Hanno Geriatric Centre with regular staff training programmes.

The Centre is located in the Lat Phrao area close to hospitals, shopping centres and the Ekkamai-Ramintra Expressway. The centre has 42 rooms that can accommodate up to 54 residents, with three types of rooms: premium rooms equipped with special electric adjustable beds with close proximity to the nurse stations private rooms and twin-bed rooms,

The elderly will be cared for around the clock by professional nurses and guided through rehabilitation activities by physical therapists. Their meals will be supervised by a certified dietician.

Hanno-Vejpong Geriatric Centre is Thailand’s first geriatric centre with an onsen facility. The warm bathing helps with both relaxation and blood circulation, facilitating blood flow to the brain. The centre pays attention to materials and equipment used in residential areas, walkways and other facilities. It is specifically designed for the elderly with the same standard as Japan’s Hanno Geriatric Centre and based on the principles of accident prevention and risk reduction.

A special flooring material five millimetres thick is used to help cushion the impact from a fall. Electric adjustable beds are up to the standard for elderly care. The building is designed to be doughnut-shaped to allow the elderly to walk around without feeling confused or anxious, which could affect their nervous system. Various safety systems are readily available, including a nurse call system, a bed monitoring system, CCTVs and 24-hour security. 

This year, the Centre targets full occupation with 54 residents and expects to provide day-care for about additional 30 elderly people per day. The centre aims to generate about Bt10 million in income in its first year of operation. 

The centre’s day-care, which offers recreational activities to stimulate the brain and help the elderly socialise, is available from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday at a fee of Bt1,900.

A points programme is available to participants who will get one free day after completing 10 days of daycare activities. Onsen bathing is included (terms and conditions apply). The programme is available until September 30, 2019.

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