Dementia care home bid for Lindsey Lower School site
A CARE home specialising in dementia – which would include an "indoor street" – is among the proposals for the former Lindsey Lower School site in Cleethorpes.
As council bosses continue to discuss the various bids made for the old school, in Clee Road, a firm behind the £6 million care development has unveiled its plans for the old school building and surrounding land.
Yorkare Homes Ltd, a family business based in Brough, wants to retain the 1925 building – worth £750,000 to £1 million – and convert it into an 80-bed care home, which could create more than 100 jobs.
Figures for North East Lincolnshire predict there will be 3,000 people living with dementia in the next ten years – nearly five times more than the 617 there are now.
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The home would be split into two specialised units – one in nursing and residential care and another in dementia care – with the gymnasium and assembly hall converted into an indoor "street scene" with imitation housing, front gardens and working shops, a pub, hair and beauty salon, cinema and gym.
Operations director Jonathan Garton feels the application is beneficial to local people as well as the local economy, boosting it by £80,000 a year.
He said: "We envisage this will be the centre of the 'community' and help stimulate all of the residents. It will be a positive sensory stimulus for the residents suffering with dementia.
"There are no nursing beds in the wards surrounding the site which is why we think it is needed. At the moment, elderly people who need this type of care have to leave the area they have lived in and get it elsewhere.
"It will create long-term jobs, which would also be a big boost to the economy."
Each of the two units would have their own dining, activity and lounge areas and the bedroom wings will be themed and kitted out with memory boxes and sensory equipment.
Outside, there will be two courtyards – one for each unit – including a sensory garden for the dementia patients.
The pub will have a beer garden at the back and some of the bedrooms will open up onto the courtyards and a back garden.
Mr Garton added: "We always try to build the best homes in the area and push to be the best. We will have specialist sensory equipment and expertly trained staff. The street is not only great for the local economy but will provide excellent stimulus for people with dementia because it will create a community that is safe for them.
"That is one of the main differences between us and other care homes. We think outside the box."
Tracie Jennings, support services manager for the North East Lincolnshire branch of the Alzheimer's Society, believes dementia provision is essential for the area.
She said: "Recreating an indoor street can encourage reminiscence and help as a way for someone with dementia to think or talk about past experiences and to recapture significant events during their lives.
"There is a growing need for high quality dementia-specific care which follows the principles of person-centred care. This approach sees the person with dementia as an individual, rather than focusing on their illness or on abilities they may have lost."
As reported, the deadline for bids closed at the beginning of the month and North East Lincolnshire Council's policy, performance and resources scrutiny panel will meet to discuss them on Wednesday, October 24, at 2pm in Grimsby Town Hall.
Yorkare Homes Ltd is competing against Snape Properties which wants to demolish the building and build 57 houses, the Rock Foundation, which wants to turn it into a facility for the disabled that would see NELC handing over the asset for free, and a private businessman with plans to build a hotel and spa complex.