The new Mayor of Bury, Jane Black, joined donors, residents and families on 26 June for the launch of an innovative residential household for people living with dementia. Beach House is a state-of-the-art facility is situated at Heathlands Village, run by Prestwich charity, The Fed.
Cutting the opening ribbon Ms Black – who has selected The Fed as one of her two main charities of her year in office, told guests her choice was ‘a no-brainer’.
The £1.5m refurbishment funded by the generosity of Manchester donors,will provides a 20-bed home for vulnerable older people.
The Fed’s CEO, Mark Cunningham explained
“It means better care and a better place to live for the most vulnerable people in our community. As we live longer, more people are affected by dementia. It is a cruel disease that steals people’s most prized possessions – their memories.
We believe what we are creating at Heathlands Village is part of the answer: a communal hub where people carry on living; a place where relatives and children want to come and stay and in many cases, play; a happy place where people feel safe, fulfilled and loved.”
Marketing and Communications Manager, Joyce Khan, described some of the novel design and technological features which seek to enhance people’s wellbeing and independence.
“By bringing the theme of our Seaside garden indoors, we’ve created a bright, uplifting environment. The theme aims to stimulate positive memories of trips to the seaside and family holidays.”
The flowing layout enables residents to wander out through one door and in through another, providing a sense of a purpose and helping to reduce agitation.
Bright ceiling panels mimic a natural blue sky and lighting levels can be adjusted to help regulate people’s body clocks.
Over-the-bed sensors trigger automatic lighting if a resident gets up in the night to use the toilet, and helps guide them back.
Wardrobes and chests of drawers have open sections to reveal the contents and help people locate their belongings.
Recessed front doors are each painted a different colour, with large clear numbering, and individual memory boxes by the doors with photos of family, friends and personal memorabilia – helping people to identify their own room.
And staff are piloting the use of handheld devices allowing them to update people’s care records ‘on the go’. This should drastically reduce time spent on the computer and increase time attending to people individually.”
Mark continued, “Children’s Centre and Purple Room Community Centre, the activity centre, the gardens, access road, the two-way reception, The Central Cafe, atrium and shop; the hairdresser’s, the medical suite, Oakwood – our dementia nursing unit with its woodland garden; the community care team offices; the Seaside Garden and now, Beach House…..If you say it quickly it doesn’t sound like much but it amounts to eight years’ hard work.”
He remarked on the foresight of the home’s original trustees: “They wanted to provide a care home for this community. Heathlands Village has always evolved and been at the forefront of care provision.”
Addressing Hertzl Hamburger and Leslie Kaye – former and current trustees respectively – he continued, “I hope you feel we have built upon the legacy that you helped create for the community.”
He thanked Director of Operations, Sheila Heywood-Holt, who oversaw the project, and the charity’s Chairman, Mark Adlestone OBE DL and board of trustees for “sticking with the plan” first conceived in 2010.
Mark especially he thanked the charity’s donors: “Together I think we have created one of the best care homes in the country. On behalf of the many residents, both now and in the future, that this project will care for…thank you. Without your support we couldn’t have done it. It is that simple!”