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edition 5 (220)
May 2017

Origin brings Canadian nursing care to Poland


Origin brings Canadian nursing care to Poland
The home for the elderly project in Otwock-Soplicowo involves the redevelopment of existing buildings in the traditional style of the town

POLAND Origin Polska, together with its parent company Origin Active Lifestyle Communities of Canada, is building a home for the elderly in Otwock-Soplicowo. It is also looking for locations for other projects that will also include nursing homes within mixed-use facilities.

The Origin MemoryCare centre in Otwock, which is to be opened in mid 2018, will provide nursing care for elderly people. “This is the most demanding and difficult service sector and at the same time the most neglected in Poland,” claims Krzysztof Jacuński, the managing director of Origin Polska. The 8,200 sqm centre will have 131 beds as well as a 5,000 sqm private park and is to be developed on a 11.7 ha site. The preliminary design is by Krzysztof Jacuński and the Arco design studio of Gdynia, while the detailed design is by the Modulor-Architekci studio of Wrocław. The new centre is to be integrated with an existing building on the site in order to retain Otwock’s traditional architectural style, known as ‘Świdermajer’. The care home is to specialise in caring for those suffering from dementia, including Alzheimer’s, and will also offer stroke rehabilitation. “Regardless of age and the degree of independence, we wish to provide our patients with the possibility to lead an active life with easy access to therapy and rehabilitation,” said Krzysztof Jacuński. “Our first three years on the Polish market were spent making thorough preparations. It has taken us longer than we planned but the local market for senior care services as well as related B2B services has turned out to be extremely under-developed,” he added. “However, now we have good management as well as high Canadian standards, which have been adapted for the Polish market and, most importantly, we believe that we have detailed knowledge of the Polish senior care services market. We have very ambitious plans for all sectors of the market: from serviced apartments, to specialist rehabilitation, modern therapy classes and services for independent people as well as palliative and hospice care.”

Changing demographics

According to Origin Polska, the market for care homes for the elderly is very promising with substantial potential for growth and not only in Poland. The market is developing because of the demographic changes in Europe and North America, as the so-called ‘baby boom’ generation reaches retirement age. Krzysztof Jacuński claims that this group numbers nearly 80 mln people in the US and Canada as well as over 60 mln people in Europe, who already are or will soon be over the age of 65. Origin intends to bring its experience of the changes in this market in Canada to Poland. According to Origin Active Lifestyle Communities of Canada, which first came here over three years ago, the Polish market is at the same stage of development as it was in Canada around 20–25 years ago. The company divides the market up into three basic categories defined by a person’s degree of independence: independent living (IL), assisted living (AL) and long term care requiring nursing and specialist care (LTC). “Private investors in Poland have opened care homes using construction loans before. They were designed like boarding houses. This is the result not only of a misunderstanding of their needs but also from the fact that such facilities are cheap to build and equip. There are over 500 of these now in operation, over 80 pct of which are small centres that offer no more than 30 beds. They should be offering their services only to those with a large degree of independence, but they accept any patient, including those requiring very specialist care, whom they later find they are unable to care for without drastically increasing prices. And so we end up with these shocking stories in the press. Such a situation discourages senior citizens and their families from using care facilities, while the problems that the owners have faced repaying their loans have discouraged banks, the majority of which will not now finance care projects for the elderly,” claims Krzysztof Jacuński.

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