For many families spending quality time together involves having a meal around the dinner table. Now residents of Braeside House, in the Liberton area of Edinburgh, will be able to do just that as they entertain visitors in the nursing home’s new private family spaces.
Built 15 years ago by the charity Royal Blind, Braeside House was designed to incorporate a large smoking room with a mezzanine floor. But today just two of the home’s 70 residents smoke and, with changes to the law, the room has fallen out of use.
Then last year staff at the specialist care home for visually impaired older people came up with the idea of revamping the space by converting it into two living and dining rooms that will enable residents to enjoy private time and meals with their friends and families in a relaxed setting.
The renovation took place between October and December and included the removal of all fixtures and fittings, an extension of the mezzanine floor to give two equal sized lounges, the addition of a small kitchen area to enable families to prepare meals and new flooring, fixtures and furniture.
Braeside House resident Suzanne Henderson, aged 89, uses the new private area to spend time with friends, like Margaret Connon.
Suzanne said: “I moved to Braeside House late last year and it’s much better to have these lounges now. The rooms are peaceful and much more private.”
Margaret added: “I think the staff have done a really beautiful job. The rooms are so comfy and homely. They would be perfect for birthday parties, or for people who just want a meal with their family. The staff took some of the residents shopping to get a few things for the rooms too, which just makes it that bit more personal for them.”
Braeside House Manager, Morag Francis, said the new rooms will be a ‘fantastic addition’ to the home.
She said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the way they’ve turned out. Having a private time with your family is something most of us take for granted but it’s one of the main things people miss when they move into a home. A lot of our residents are too frail to go out but now their families can come over to mum or dad’s for dinner like they used to.
“The rooms are going down brilliantly with the residents and their families. We could use them to throw birthday parties for the residents, or if a few of the residents want to have a private dinner together, they could book the rooms out.
“We would like to say a big thank you to all who supported this project including The Elise Pilkington Trust, Miss A C I Burgess’ Trust, The Hayward Sanderson Trust and The Albert Hunt Charitable Trust.”