3 Jul 2012

Dementia unit to open at Rimutaka prison

8:14 am on 3 July 2012

A dementia unit for elderly prison inmates is being established at Rimutaka prison. It will be the first in the country.

The Corrections Department has confirmed it will create a high dependency unit of 20 beds, for some of the 120 inmates aged over 65 who struggle with daily tasks like showering themselves.

Among the first expected to enter the unit is Donald Liddington, 75, a paedophile on preventive detention who is considered too ill for prison but too dangerous for the community.

His lawyer Mary More welcomes the new unit, but says it's been a long time coming.

Corrections hopes the new unit will be operating by the end of the year.