dementia village exterior. Richmond Willaston. Cheshire. United Kingdom.

The first residents have moved into a pioneering new village for people with dementia in Willaston on the site of the former Redsands children’s home.

Richmond Villages Willaston, off Crewe Road, has been inspired by a Dutch ‘household’ care model.

It is designed to help residents remain active and retain independence.

Residents live in small households and continue day-to-day activities in a safe and social environment.

The new Richmond Village has six households with six en-suite bedrooms with private patios, as well as shared living areas and safe outdoor spaces.

Residents are supported by household assistants who help with meal-planning, cooking, cleaning, gardening and organising activities.

At night, residents are “acoustically monitored” using an auditory system.

Philippa Fieldhouse, managing director for Richmond Villages, said: “This Dutch household care model has had strong results in the Netherlands and is an exciting step forward for UK dementia care.

“We want to help people lead fulfilling lives, supporting them to retain their independence and connection with the community, so that they can live well with dementia.

“The learnings from this village will shape the future of care across our other homes and villages, offering people with dementia the right care for them.”

New residents will be assessed in their own home by dementia experts to replicate as much of their daily routine and home environment in the village as possible.

Elaine Smith, manager at Richmond Villages Willaston, added: “Everything’s been designed to provide a safe and secure home, where residents can maintain their independence and build new friendships.

“As well as the households, we have great outdoor spaces – including our gardens and the woodland walk – so the village is really unique and gives residents an important sense of freedom.

“The village has been built with families in mind, providing peace of mind and being able to welcome visitors of all ages.”

new Richmond Village dementia villageDoris, aged 92, was one of the first residents to move into the village. She was diagnosed with late onset dementia in 2019.

Her daughter Helen said: “Mum knew something wasn’t right too.

“She’d get tearful as she couldn’t work out what was going on.

“We went to the doctors and eventually received her diagnosis. It’s not something you ever want to hear but did mean we could take steps to support her.

“We originally had carers three days a week.

“They were brilliant and one of them still comes to visit mum now. They used to do memory games and would joke that they’d given her homework.

“As her dementia progressed it became harder. Some days she’d forget to shut the front door, and others she’d repeatedly check that it was closed. It didn’t feel safe to have her on her own.

“She was also becoming more withdrawn and losing interest in things she used to enjoy, like cooking and gardening. It’s horrible to see that in someone you love.

“I noticed Richmond Villages Willaston when I was driving to Sainsbury’s one day. I saw that it was a dementia village and immediately thought it could be the answer for mum.

“We went down together and looked around. Mum really liked it and felt she’d be happy there.

“She was able to pick her own room and chose one that was south facing, like her conservatory at home, so she could watch the sunset.

“That sense of freedom is so important and knowing she can enjoy it safely is a huge relief for me.

“Finding care for a loved one is never easy – there’s a lot to consider – but finding the right care makes a huge difference.”

In the “Strength in Community: The Future of UK Dementia Care” YouGov report based on 1,071 people who currently care, nine in 10 carers say maintaining independence helped their loved ones live a longer and happier life, while 42% agreed it helped manage their condition.

Richmond Willaston - March 2021 (1) (1)

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