SEOUL, July. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Casino and resort operator Kangwon Land is set to go forward with a nursing home project after agreeing to join local efforts to transform abandoned mining areas into the country’s dementia research and care capital.
Kangwon Land’s decision to build a new dementia care facility comes after a special local committee called for the resort company to use part of its land to contribute to the government’s promise to do more for dementia patients and their families.
“We came to the conclusion that it’s not a bad idea from a business perspective to push ahead with a care facility project in Taebaek, which boasts clean air,” a Kangwon Land official said.
In a meeting with Taebak residents held earlier this month, Lee Won-hak, a member of the Research Institute for Gangwon, also praised the idea of embracing dementia care as it’s suitable for the natural environment in the region and could be the answer to disappearing local jobs due to staff cuts by the Korea Coal Corporation.
Officials from the casino and resort company plan to conduct a demand survey for senior health care and share their business plan with the board of directors before the end of the year, with further plans to extend the size of the project depending on the level of demand shown during the stages of research and planning.
“We’ll explain in detail how we reached an agreement and what the business plans and the expected economic effect for local citizens will be after we sign a formal agreement in public,” said Kim Ho-kyu, the chair of the special committee behind the dementia care facility project.
The Taebak project is reflective of several measures announced by the Moon administration earlier this month to help lift burdens placed on patients suffering from memory loss and their family members.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 725,000 South Koreans aged 65 or older are estimated to be suffering from dementia, with the number expected to reach one million by 2024.