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Dementia Units Christchurch

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Christchurch dementia patient takes rest-home worker's car, drives it to Ashburton

He said the woman's condition had been recently reassessed, which revealed her care level needed lifting, but the home she was in did not offer a secure dementia unit, so she had to move.

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"If she had been in a secure unit this simply would not have happened", Wallace said.

"The gardens in dementia-care facilities are completely enclosed and prevent residents from roaming out, but a rest home acts as the resident's home and they can come and go.

"A rest home is not a correctional facility and staff simply can not provide 24-hour surveillance of all the residents."

He said situations like this were "very rare", but served as opportunities for homes to review protocols to ensure they did not happen again.