Health and Wellbeing

Work on flagship dementia centre to start this summer

Cllrs Hart and Barker discuss the plans for the home with residents Mrs Pauline Fildrew, Mrs Lesley Naylor and Mrs Dorothy Dyer.

Posted on: 6 March 2013

Remodelling work will begin this summer on the first of the county’s dementia care Centres of Excellence in Newton Abbot.

Mapleton Care Home, on Ashburton Road, already provides care for people with dementia, but will be completely redeveloped over the next 18 months to meet local demand.

The plans have been finalised following open days held earlier in the year, that gave residents, their families, as well as staff and others, an opportunity to see how theproposed plans that will transform their care home.

Mapleton will the first of up to ten Council homes to be redeveloped over three years in their £11.2 million improvement programme. The second home, Woodland Vale in Torrington will also be remodelled over the coming months.

The flagship centres will bring together two of the country’s leading experts on dementia, enabling Devon to be a forefront of high quality dementia care.

Renowned internationally for their dementia research, the University of Stirling is advising the Council on the design of the buildings, while one of the Prime Minister’s Champions on Dementia Friendly Communities, Ian Sherriff, is giving advice as to how the new multi million pound centres will be run.

Mr Sherriff and research colleagues at Plymouth University are making sure that the new centres provide first rate care to residents, and that the centres support the great many people living with dementia in their surrounding communities, and their carers.

Council Leader, Councillor John Hart said: “This is a superb opportunity for our care homes to become the real heart of the community to provide care and support for people with dementia and their carers.

“The investment the County Council is making is critical to ensure the future needs on the community are met.”

Councillor Stuart Barker, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult social care said: “ Mapleton was selected to be one of our first centres of excellence to meet the needs of the local area. So many people are already experiencing care difficulties associated with dementia, and demand for support is growing across the county. We are investing in the future to make sure there is provision where and when it is needed, and to enable people with dementia to live safely and independently as possible.”

Councillor Anne Fry looking at the plans with home manager Margaret Breslan

Local County Councillor Anne Fry added: “The new plans for Mapleton is very good news for local people.  Support services for people with dementia are in ever greater demand and the additional investment is very important and much welcomed”.

The Council was also applauded for its work on dementia by the former Health Minister Andrew Lansley last year on a visit to the county.

Devon has one of the highest proportions of older people among its population with the number of over 65s with dementia expected to rise from nearly 13,000 in 2011 to over 23,000 by 2030 – a rise of almost 80 per cent.

Interview with Sam Breslan who works at Mapleton Care Home
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Current research suggests that Devon has a shortfall in specialist residential places for people with dementia, and the Council’s plans, which will create overall around 300 bed places, will meet about half that unmet need.

The rest, the Council hopes, will be met by the private sector, to which the Council has made £800,000 available this year to help them develop their own dementia-specific care facilities.

The University of Stirling described the Council’s ambitions for centres of excellence as ‘groundbreaking’.

They and Midas Construction became partners with the Council and its agents Norfolk Property Services last year after competitive tendering.

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