Residents, families and dignitaries celebrated the formal opening of Lydia Eva Court, a new care home for people living with dementia in Gorleston on the east coast of Norfolk. The home was opened by television presenter and journalist Jennie Bond, who has a very personal connection to dementia.
The 88-bed care home in Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, which opened to residents in June, has been specially designed to meet the needs of people with dementia. The home has been divided into six distinct wings, which each have a maximum of 15 bedrooms and feature colour coded décor and furnishings. Memory boxes are mounted on the walls outside all bedrooms, which can be filled with photos, keepsakes and personal items to help residents.
Each wing has its own dining room, living room and quiet room, as well as a care office for staff. The home also has a hair salon with visiting hairdresser, a large activity room, communal café, large roof terrace with outdoor furniture and extensive gardens which are landscaped with sensory planting.
State-of-the-art assistive technology is also present in Lydia Eva Court. All bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms and motion sensors automatically turn on lighting if a resident gets up in the night. An electronic monitoring system is also installed in each of the rooms, which lets care staff know when a resident is out of bed and how long for, enabling them to check on them as and when necessary while giving residents privacy and independence. A dedicated guest bedroom will allow relatives and friends to arrange to extend their visits to stay overnight in the home should they wish to.
On opening the home, Jennie spoke passionately about her mother who has dementia and reminisced fondly about family holidays in Norfolk. She was then joined by Karen Knight and a number of the home’s residents to formally open the home and to welcome residents and families to their new home.
Karen Knight, Managing Director of NorseCare, said: “I’m so proud of Lydia Eva Court. We’ve always prided ourselves on providing high quality care at NorseCare and in Lydia Eva Court we truly have a building to match.
“A lot of work and care has gone into making a home in which our residents can feel comfortable and enjoy their lives, and I think we’ve achieved this. Care providers are learning more and more about dementia all the time, and this care home makes use of the latest research and innovations to provide a tailor-made environment that will enable people with dementia to lead as rich and meaningful lives as possible.
“It’s lovely to see the reactions of those who have moved in, and their friends and families when they come to visit. It’s such a welcoming building, with lots of space and communal areas, and we’ve noticed that visitors tend to spend a long time here when they come with their children and grandchildren, enjoying the gardens with their relative or sitting in the café over a cup of tea and cake. It’s a joy to see.”
Colleen Walker, county councillor for Magdalen ward which encompasses the Gorleston care home, said: “This is a stunning care home, with all the facilities and technology in place to help staff provide the best possible care and residents to have an excellent quality of life. Lydia Eva Court is a fantastic addition to Gorleston and to NorseCare’s care accommodation, and I believe it will be heralded by many as an example of how residential care in this country should look.”