A specialist dementia care village playing host to around 300 flats in Northampton is set to go ahead on the Wootton Hall site in 2018.
The site, which has been branded a ‘home for life’ by the director of adult social care Dr Carolyn Kus will offer residents and the outside community the chance to indulge in a gym, cinema and a bar on site.
The proposal to develop the county’s first specialist village was unveiled this week and will see the County Council working in partnership with a private developer who is currently unknown.
It will enable people with the disease to live independently for longer in a home environment with specialised care and support on site.
And the overarching project, which is in partnership with the University of Northampton, will offer research into tackling the disease.
Dr Carolyn Kus, director of adult social care, said: “If you have a big enough facility onsite then you are able to care for everybody’s needs. I’ve worked with people with dementia for many years, people with dementia need things to keep them stimulated.
“It’s a lot more interactive, rather than being in your bedroom or a lounge. There’s lots more going on, it improves their quality of life. In some instances, it never stops dementia but it slows it somewhat because they are interacting with other people so they are not isolated.
“Often dementia is a progressive illness, and towards the end of life they could be set up in nursing care, what we want to do with this village is propose a concept on this village where people don’t have to move rather than having their own residential unit they would have a bedroom. Then there are communal places, on this site, they would have their own flat and their own front door.
“On site there will be communal facilities that they can use. Things like a cinema, a shop, a bar a gym, there will be everything. It will be a nice community that local community can come out and use as well. What that enables us to do, it when people get worse with dementia instead of being moved into a nursing home, if somebody is going in, it’s a home for life. For carers there’s that assurance that if you’re mum and dad are going in there then that’s where they’re going.”
The proposal follows the launch of the county council strategy for older people earlier this year, which reflected the rising number of people with dementia and the growing demand for supported living schemes.
There are currently 7,700 people in Northamptonshire living with dementia and this figure set to soar by 45 percent by the year 2030.
Asked how the site, currently home to Northamptonshire Police Headquarters which will be replaced by an expanding Wooton Park School - will manage the influx of traffic around the area, Dr Kus said it will cope.
She said: “This site is available, it’s ideal really .
“We get the fact that there is traffic around it - that is part of the wider planning.
“But so me of the ways that these care villages have failed if you like, is purely because they are so big they have ended up being located outside a town or in an area where people become more isolated.
“It’s difficult for carers because of this, but as specialist care village we will work with university and keep up to date with the research. This is an ideal spot really to place it .”
Nobody at today’s County Council press call would be drawn on likely costs - partly as they do not yet have an exact figure for the number of buildings - but developers will pay for it.
Dr Kus said:: “The County council is working in partnership with developers who will pay for the build.”
If you look around you will get developers that will come in and actually fund and put up the building.
“The onsite care will be through the council, either through contracting with the independent sector or we may just put it in ourselves, it’s a partnership. A full partnership all the way across between the private the public and the university.”
The county council’s cabinet will be asked on Tuesday, November 13 to approve the creation of a project board to oversee the scheme , the next stage to giving it the green light.