First glimpse at £25million Ipswich 'care village' planned for the elderly
A £25million "care village" for the elderly in Ipswich could revolutionise how dementia sufferers are looked after by building a community around them complete with shops and cafes, it has been claimed.
Like most care facilities in the country, Westerfield House supports and provides accommodation for residents who still go out into the wider community to socialise, shop and attend appointments.
But with the elderly population rapidly rising, there are fears increasing numbers of care home residents with mobility problems will struggle to get out into the community.
So Mac Khan, director of Westerfield House, has come up with a “different type of concept all together”, where he says the “care and all the facilities are brought to you”.
Called a “care village”, the site in Humber Doucy Lane - if approved - would not only have 147 assisted living apartments but also a communal area with shops, a restaurant, hairdressers, cinema, pharmacy, day centre and light gym area.
“With a care home, you still have to go out and about,” Mr Khan said of the development, which is estimated to create 100 new full-time jobs.
“A care village caters for everything you need.”
Mr Khan added that it had been a “battle to convince” planners about the benefits of the plans, with fears over the effect the development would have on the historic setting of the 18th century Westerfield House.
Plans to build two detached properties on site for staff have also caused concerns.
But the vision, which also includes a 92-space car park, is now recommended for outline planning permission at Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday, April 3.
Documents ahead of the meeting state: “The extra care housing would represent public benefit and this weighs heavily in favour of the application.”
Mr Khan added: “We need to emphasise that this is one of its kind in Ipswich.
“Nothing like this has ever been done in Suffolk. It will bring a lot of benefits to the community.
“It’s such a needed facility. We want to make sure residents are given the best.”
He also said the care village would encourage residents to live independently and that the activities and facilities on site would help to tackle loneliness amongst the elderly.