A new £950 a week care home in Kenilworth was described as ‘the future’ by a Lib Dem MP during his tour of Warwickshire last week.
The shadow health secretary for the Liberal Democrats and chairman of the West Midlands Combined Authority commission on mental health, Norman Lamb MP, was shown around Castle Brook in Common Lane on Thursday November 17 to see how it could help local people living with dementia.
The £10.5 million home run by WCS Care will take in 84 residents when it opens next month. It will cost residents a minimum of £950 a week to stay in, assuming they are not supported by Warwickshire County Council.
Speaking about the home, Mr Lamb said: “I think we’re seeing the future here. They’ve been very smart at using technology to maintain people’s independence.
“This is as important to mental health as anything else, particularly for people with dementia.
“If you have dementia in this area and you end up in a place like Castle Brook you will be well-looked after, and that’s what we’ve got to strive towards.
“Ultimately, there’s no reason why we cannot have these kind of homes in more places.”
WCS Care say the home has been designed to allow residents as much freedom as possible, incorporating many aspects of daily life outside a care home.
A large part of the ground floor features a shop, a launderette, a salon, a cinema, and a spa and for residents to use, which aims to provide a sense of normality.
Ed Russell, director of innovation and delivery at WCS Care, said: “This part of the home is like the centre of a village, and our rule is that a carer should not come here without a resident.”
Relatives and friends will also be able to keep an eye on their loved ones in the home using a ‘relatives gateway’ app, which is installed on a smartphone. This is not done without the individual resident’s consent.
The home will also encourage its residents to exercise, aiming for least one-and-a-half hours of physical activity a week.
One way residents and guests can do this is by using a four-wheeled bicycle for two, which gives them the opportunity to pedal around the home’s grounds together on a specially-designed cycle track.
Other features of the home will include fingerprint recognition for visitors and staff, ‘intelligent’ lifts that appear when someone stands in front of them, and night-time monitoring software designed to help residents sleep better.