Council backs plans for multi million investment in dementia care

Older person and carer

Posted on: 14 March 2012

Devon County Councillors have backed plans today to develop up to 10 centres of excellence for people with dementia as part of a £11.2 million investment in its care homes.

Forecasts predict the number of people in Devon aged over 65 with dementia to rise from nearly 13,000 in 2011 to over 23,000 in 2030 – a rise of almost 80 per cent.

The Council says that around 600 residential places specifically to care for people with dementia are needed, and their plans announced today will provide about 300 places, meeting half of that currently unmet requirement.

The independent sector could help make up the shortfall says Cllr Stuart Barker, the Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for social care

“So many people are already experiencing care difficulties associated with dementia, and demand for support is growing.

“That’s why the investment we are announcing today to redevelop some of our homes as centres of excellence for dementia, and refurbish others, is critical in meeting people’s needs.

“We are investing in the future to make sure there is provision when it is needed.

“Our intention is for the centres of excellence to be more than just residential care homes.  We would want them to include other non-residential services for people with dementia and their carers, who may still be living in their own homes.”

Evidence has shown that people living within dementia-specific care homes experience better outcomes, particularly those with more severe forms of dementia.

Which of the Council’s 23 residential homes are to be redeveloped has yet to be decided, and will depend upon where there is most demand for dementia-specific support in Devon and the level of relevant independent sector provision there is in those areas.

Redevelopment will involve substantial remodelling of the homes, and bedrooms for example will need to be made larger, with some having ensuite facilities.  They will be completely redecorated, with new carpets, furnishings and have better lighting.

Remaining homes will also undergo refurbishment, including redecoration, carpet replacement and upgrading of furniture and equipment.

The Council has said that there will be full consultation and communication with residents and their families, members of staff, volunteers and other stakeholders before any such improvements are made.

“There’s a lot of work to be done before we reach that point, but all that will be required will be done in an orderly, managed and phased way so that disruption within homes is kept to a minimum,” said Cllr Barker.

2 comments on “Council backs plans for multi million investment in dementia care

  1. marion evans on said:

    i would just like to comment on the care and redevelopment of your homes for your clients with dementia.
    i have been in the caring profession for over 30 years and spent about 10 years in care home enviroments. 8 of those years as an activities coordinator.
    in these homes the dementia units were placed on the 1st floors, this meant that clients living with dementia did not have the freedom to go out into the grounds of the home , they were either taken down to the ground floor by staff or relatives.
    it is so important to be able to have freedom and be able to take in the fresh air when you have no memory problems .
    when suffering from dementia this freedom seems to be lost.
    if i am right most or maybe all care homes place their dementia units on the 1st floors for protection and security reasons for the clients.
    i feel that clients and staff would benifit from the units being placed on the ground floors with doors leading out into the grounds from the dinning rooms and lounges.
    the grounds for these units should be tottaly enclosed with brick walls with no gates so there is no fear of a client wandering from the unit.
    fresh air is so important and would aid i believe a better restful sleep pattern for clients living with dementia.
    sensory gardens a must and equiment.
    entry into these units should be through double entry doors with two different security codes for security reasons.

    within these units security windows a must for saftey of the clients
    my reason for remarking on this is that in working in a care home ,clients on the elderly frail units may have some form of mobility and no memory problems and are able to make their own way to the grounds or gardens or ask staff for help where as clients living with their dementia cannot and you will find in some cases they are just wanting to get out in the fresh air.
    with ground floor units for dementia the garden would be part of a day to day living enviroment.
    thank you for reading my comments, i am a 56 year old lady currently working as a care support worker for crossroads care who feels strongly about the care of clients living with dementia, i am sorry i do not live in devon i live near heathrow airport but i hope you have some more positive comments regarding redevepment of dentia care units or homes .
    your sincerley
    marion evans

    • Devon Newscentre on said:

      Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. We are very lucky to be working with excellent partners, including the University of Stirling which is internationally recognised for its expertise in the study and care for people with dementia. They, and our construction partner, Midas, are helping to design our new Centres of Excellence, and we are confident that we will get the best designs possible. Thanks again for your comments, which we’ll certainly pass on to our partners, and which are all very helpful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are held for moderation. House rules

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing