The Abbeyfield Kent Society has succeeded in ensuring that the needs of the older people in the Larkfield area are met. Plans to build a much-needed extra care scheme to replace St Martins, the residential home in Martin Square have now been approved by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.
The Abbeyfield Kent Society, a charity and housing association for older people, has identified changes and challenges that the care sector is facing and is redeveloping its residential care home into an extra care scheme. The current residential home is unfortunately of an age that means it cannot be converted or modernised economically.
Extra care is a concept designed to accommodate people with a range of needs; it is a popular choice as an alternative to a care home and enables us to actively tackle the issue of loneliness amongst older people, whilst promoting independent living.
The Larkfield extra care scheme will consist of 74 one and two bed apartments, offering those who are over 55 with a care need the option to buy a 75% share through the older person shared ownership scheme, or a number of apartments are available as affordable rent.
The Abbeyfield Kent Society has taken their ethos of compassion and companionship even further by ensuring 20 of the 74 apartments are solely available for rent to veterans. For almost 50 years now, The Abbeyfield Kent Society has welcomed veterans, along with their spouses, seeking compassion and companionship and the 20 apartments will be specifically for these people.
The brand new extra care scheme has been designed specifically for those with a care need, with both the apartments and communal areas meeting the growing needs older people are faced with today. A restaurant with sun room and terrace, 24/7 staffing presence, hair salon, assisted bathroom and toilets and a nurse call system are just some of the amenities this development will have to offer.
The extra care scheme will provide residents with the independence of living in their own apartment with the added benefit of 24 hours a day care, companionship and support. Caring Companions, The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s domiciliary team will be onsite and will provide tailored care packages to suit residents’ individual needs and requirements.
Leon Steer, Chief Executive of The Abbeyfield Kent Society said: “The charity has been providing accommodation and care for older people in Kent for nearly 50 years and Larkfield, like all communities in Kent, will be experiencing a substantial increase in the numbers of older people needing long-term permanent care in the coming years.
“This exciting project will create two years of development work and over 100 new jobs, strengthening the Larkfield economy and relieving the suffering of many very vulnerable people.”
Building work is due to start in the summer of 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.
At the end of the process, Kent will have new facilities to meet changing needs in a changing environment and helping to secure the future of care, something of great importance given the growing needs of a growing older population.