Irish millionaire bankrolls innovative local ‘dementia village’

Limerick millionaire JP McManus has put €1.2m from his Benevolent Fund, which funds community initiatives and organisations in Ireland’s Mid-West, towards the CareBright Community, a four-acre ‘dementia village’ being built at the Limerick town of Bruff.

The nearly €5.5 million village is the vision of Not For Profit home-care provider CareBright, who has mostly funded the 18-unit village themselves and still has another €980,000 left to raise.

So why have they put so much money into this development?

Inspired by the Dutch ‘dementia village’ model

Business Development Manager, CareBright, Majella Murphy, added, “60% of our clients are living with dementia. A lot of people 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 U.K. and Holland and found the successful household model being used in Holland was similar to the vision we had in mind.”

This ‘dementia village’ idea was first developed at De Hogeweyk in Holland, a gated community which has 23 houses for 152 dementia sufferers.

The seniors are given 24-hour nursing care while still managing their own households together, with washing and cooking done every day and groceries purchased at the community supermarket.

A restaurant, bar and theatre can also be used by both residents and locals.

Transforming dementia care

It’s a model CareBright hopes will be just as successful in Limerick. 

The finished village will have three homes, each with six separate units and their own living room, bedroom, bathroom and garden and is due to open in September 2017.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.