Gorleston’s £7m “super care home” leading the way for elderly care
- Credit: Archant
Gorleston is leading the way in caring for Norfolk's ageing population with the construction of a 'flagship' building - that will pave the way for the next generation of care homes.
Building work on the new state of the art 'super care home' in Peterhouse Avenue is well under way and when it opens next summer, the 88-bed facility is expected to thrust the borough into the spotlight as a shining example of things to come for elderly care provision.
Health bosses behind the scheme said the new home is being seen as a 'landmark' building, while community leaders have hailed the £6.9m that is being invested in the area as 'absolutely brilliant'.
Colleen Walker, Norfolk county councillor for Magdalen ward, said: 'We're ecstatic to see it going up. It's been a long time coming and we were pleased it wasn't just an ordinary housing development, we're glad it can add to the community.
'It's so nice to see, on an estate like the Magdalen, something that's actually addressing our elderly (population).
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'It's about time there was money invested in dementia and the elderly because if you look, over the last 20 years we haven't built many if any, and we have just been making do by doing up older properties.'
The long-awaited facility, which is being built on the former Peterhouse School site, is replacing three smaller ageing care homes across the borough that no longer meet modern standards, and will specialise in dementia care.
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It will be equipped with large rooms, en suite facilities, airy communal spaces, specially designed gardens, a hairdressing salon, treatment area and activity room.
Norse Care - the company established by Norfolk County Council in 2011 to manage the county's care homes - is driving the project and will run the Peterhouse site.
The scheme is the firm's first major building project and the home is considered a 'ground breaking' building that will pave the way for future projects.
Richard Smith, Norse Care marketing manager, said 'We have involved the likes of Worcester and Stirling Universities, who are experts in dementia care homes and buildings, so it's very much a building that's going to be seen as a way for the future.'
As well as its state of the art facilities for residents, the home will also cater to the community with an on-site cafe open to the public and with partnership work between the site and the primary school.
Karen Knight, managing director at Norse Care, was keen to integrate the home among the community.
She said: 'We're going to form very close links with the school and hope to have some exciting inter-generational programmes, so children can understand more about dementia and see it's not a frightening place to be.
'And we're going to have a community cafe right in the front so we would like to invite school children and local residents in, so our residents feel very much part of the community.'
On Wednesday, Ms Knight gathered on site with Peterhouse pupils and staff, councillors and representatives from builders RG Carter and designers NPS, to mark the launch of the home at a celebratory ground breaking ceremony.
The new home is replacing Magdalen House in Gorleston, Mildred Stone House in Great Yarmouth and Clere House in Ormesby, all of which were built in the 1960s and no longer meet modern standards.
Residents from all three homes will be offered accommodation at Peterhouse once it opens.
Ms Knight said: 'Although the care we provide in those homes is absolutely fantastic, the facilities are out of date and make it difficult to support people properly and care for them with dignity.
'So once we have this brilliant new facility, we'll be able to have fantastic care and a brilliant building, which is really dementia friendly.'
Gorleston residents are now being invited to suggest a name for the home, which is relevant to the local area, while past pupils of the old Peterhouse school are being asked to share stories, photographs and memorabilia, that will help create a memory wall in the new home.
Name suggestions can be emailed to email@example.com while anyone with memories and pictures of the school can email firstname.lastname@example.org