5th March 2018

Extra care housing is an appealing type of housing for an aging population, as they enable individuals to maintain their independence by focusing on the following three key elements:

  1. Promoting independence by providing people with self-contained accommodation along with access to onsite care services.
  2. Encouraging empowerment by making health, care and support services available to people in the area where they live as opposed to moving into a residential care home.
  3. Designed and adapted with accessibility in mind to facility the delivery of care.

It is important for the UK to continue its focus on extra care housing and provision, especially if recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for their Overview of the UK population: March 2017 report is anything to go by.

According to the report, the UK’s population was 65,110,000 in 2015; 17.8 per cent of this figure were aged 65 years and over. Both of these statistics are up considerably from the UK’s population of 56,226,000 in 1975, where just 14.1 per cent were aged 65 years and over.

The figures are set to keep on increasing over the next few decades…

  • In 2025, it is projected that the UK population will be 69,444,000 and that 20.2 per cent will be aged 65 years and over.
  • By 2035, the nation’s population is projected to reach 73,044,000 with 23.6 per cent who are aged 65 years and over.
  • Come 2045, the UK’s population is projected to be 76,055,000 with 24.6 per cent aged 65 years and over.

New build and refurbished housing services provider Esh Construction and landlord and developer the Thirteen Group are two companies focused on providing effective extra care housing to UK residents — through the creation of the Eston Community Village.

UK's population in 2015

65,110,000

Here’s how the development in the North-East England city of Middlesbrough helps the nation’s aging population:

Providing homes for those with early onset dementia, mental health and learning difficulties

The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are 850,000 people now in the UK with dementia — this figure is set to rise to more than one million by 2025 and then to 2 million by 2051. On top of this, the Mental Health Foundation has carried out research and found that one adult in six across its England-based study had a common mental disorder. The same organisation has also reported that approximately 1.5 million people in the UK will have a learning disability.

With the Eston Community Village, Esh Construction and the Thirteen Group have set out to provide homes not only for those aged 55 years and over but also those with early onset dementia, mental health and learning difficulties.

This community has been carefully considered and offers an innovative, socially inclusive design. A range of supported housing choices have been constructed to suit dependency levels and include features such as the following to assist those with dementia:

  • Highlighted entrances using coloured doors and luminance for contrast.
  • Shelving by front doors for people with dementia to personalise their apartments.
  • Contrasting kitchen units with label holders.
  • Specially designed building signage using colour and visual aids.
  • Lighting has been designed to be dementia friendly.
  • Colours of floor surfaces, walls, doors, skirtings and sockets provide good visual contrasts to aid wayfinding.

 Setup to encourage residents to connect with the environment

There are many benefits of spend time outdoors as people age. Being outside boosts vitamin D levels — which are directly related to an improved immune system — and allows seniors to build and maintain healthy immune systems.

The Dementia Centre has also reported on research which has found that the health of people with dementia improved significantly when they spent even just as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day doing activities outside.

Residents of the Eston Community Village are encouraged to connect with the environment, through the following design considerations:

  • It has a garden-centred scheme.
  • Properties feature generously sized windows which optimise connection with outside, helping landscapes and buildings work together.
  • Most apartments enjoy full balconies or patios with space for tables and chairs.
  • All dwellings access communal gardens, with private rear gardens for bungalows.
  • Various characterful garden areas, including lawns, themed gardens, produce, and walks, enrich environmental quality.

 Factoring in the government’s reductions in Social Care Funding

Estimates gathered by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) in June 2015 following a survey of its members claimed that the UK’s adult social care budgets reduced by £4.6 billion between 2010/11 and 2015/16.

During the development of the Eston Community Village, Esh Construction and the Thirteen Group selected a design that allowed for flexibility should this income cease to fund a supported living arrangement.

As a result, all properties were allocated prior to completion and the model has been adopted as the next generation of supported care facilities. The design ensures it is affordable to run and provides improved independent living.

 Praise for the Eston Community Village

 

Eston Community Village has created an important provision for the local area, which will deliver high-quality, modern homes that will meet the needs of residents who will benefit from its specialist features.

It will mean they can lead independent lives while receiving the care and support they need to be an integral part of their own community.

- Ian Wardle, the chief executive of Thirteen Group

Councillor David Walsh, a cabinet member for adults at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, was also keen to add: “Through a successful partnership with Thirteen we are delighted to see this innovative scheme open. The Village caters for a range of disability groups and provides residents with a tailored, high quality, supported living environment. The scheme will greatly enhance the supported living offer in our borough.”

Interested to see how Esh Construction can help you? Their highly-skilled workforce delivers civil engineering, facilities management services, commercial build development, new build and refurbished housing services to both the private and public sectors. Click here to discover all of their delivery arms now and how they can assist with whatever project you’re working on.

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