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Waypoints Plymouth officially opened

A pioneering £6.2 million specialist care home for people living with dementia was opened in Plymouth (7 December 2012). It is only the second of its kind in the country and Waypoints Care Group says it chose the city because of its forward thinking approach to developing health and social care for people with dementia.


It is currently estimated that 3,100 people living in Plymouth have dementia and the South West Dementia Partnership says this could rise to over to 4,200 people by 2021.


Waypoints Care Group managing director said: “We believe our home in Ernesettle is unrivalled because the design of the building layout, facilities and care philosophy has been created from the outset with a focus on providing a safe, welcoming and comfortable home specifically for residents with dementia. Waypoints Plymouth will raise the bar when it comes to providing high quality bespoke care for people with dementia and we are committed to developing more of these homes in the South West region.


“Our philosophy is to give people living with dementia freedom. We have worked with clinical and healthcare professionals to ensure that residents will receive in their home, quality care with an emphasis on meeting their individual needs. We were impressed by how forward thinking Plymouth is with health and social care provision for people with dementia; and of course when we saw the views across the Tamar estuary from the top of Ernesettle Lane we knew it was the perfect location. Now the views will be enjoyed in the bistro by the residents and their visitors.”


Home manager Tess Marriott said: “There are very specific health and social needs when someone has their memory, understanding, language and judgement affected by dementia.


“It’s a privilege to work in such a high quality environment where so much attention to detail has been paid to what residents need. For example, bedrooms have room numbers but also see-through holders outside them for a resident to leave a personal item to help them to remember where their room is. There are no mirrors in the communal areas because for some people with dementia, this can cause confusion or distress if they don’t recognise the face looking back at them. We won’t have regimented meal times at set times of day or evening. Instead our residents can decide when and what they would like to eat. This is about us responding and meeting their needs, not the institutional approach to care where the home dictates to the residents what happens.”


The home was officially opened by West Country television presenter and journalist Angela Rippon, in her role as an Alzheimers’ Society ambassador.


Angela Rippon said: “Dementia is a time bomb ticking away. One in three people are affected by dementia either directly, with a relative or someone they know. Dementia is touching so many lives and it is so important to have better understanding of what people with dementia and their carers need so they can live with the dignity they deserve. I have seen a lot of care homes and it’s a great pleasure to be back in my home city to see how it is leading the way to raise the standards of dementia care for the rest of the country to aspire to.”


Angela, whose late mother Edna had dementia, said the decision to put a loved one in residential nursing care can be difficult and with feelings of guilt, and this could be made easier if the families knew they could transfer the responsibility of care to a safe place where their safety and dignity would be taken seriously.


About 50 guests attended the opening event including Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth Cllr Chaz Singh, Deputy Lady Mayoress Mrs Sarah Kaur; Plymouth MP Alison Seabeck and Alzheimers’ Society Trustee Mr Ian Sherriff.


The first residents are expected to move into the home in January 2013.


Key features of the home include 64 bedrooms each with en-suite wet room facilities; a courtyard garden in the centre with a modern water feature; and a ‘social hub’ where residents and their visitors can meet and enjoy activities and entertainment in the café bar and bistro, Estuary View restaurant with a roof terrace; an activities room, hairdressers, garden room and a reminder of the past at ‘Ye Old Sweet Shop.’


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