Dementia unit closed for repairs

The dementia unit at Radius Fulton in Hillside Rd will be closed until further notice because of flood damage, Radius Care managing director Brien Cree says.

The unit needed recarpeting and repainting, he said.

''In general terms, 50% of the facility will be open.

''The dementia unit will be closed for some time. It's quite badly damaged.''

The 33 residents who remained in the facility during the deluge would be joined by another 15 returning today and yesterday.

Mr Cree, of Auckland, who was contacted in Fiji yesterday, said he wished he was in South Dunedin to help.

Members of his leadership team had travelled to Dunedin.

''It's well covered and everyone's working together.''

The Southern District Health Board and Red Cross worked together to manage the evacuation of many of the 90 residents.

Nineteen hospital and dementia-level residents were taken to Dunedin or Wakari Hospitals, and about 30 went to other residential facilities. Another group were taken to relatives.

A health board nursing director stayed overnight with remaining residents and staff.

The health board activated its emergency operations centre on Wednesday afternoon to co-ordinate its response.

It was closed yesterday at 11.15am.

Patient services director Lexie O'Shea thanked staff yesterday.

''The DHB thanks everyone who worked above and beyond yesterday and during the night, to keep our very vulnerable older people and community safe and dry, in Dunedin,'' she said in a statement.

''It was a huge task and everyone did a fantastic job.''

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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