Newton Abbot 'extra care' homes for dementia sufferers

Artist's impression of the Newton Abbot extra care housing scheme
Image caption Residents will be able to access care or support 24 hours a day

An £8m housing development which includes homes for people with dementia has been approved by planners in Devon.

Fifty self-contained flats will be built on the old Newton Abbot hospital site, 10 of which will be specifically for dementia sufferers.

Work on the "extra care" scheme will begin in April and the first homes should be ready by autumn 2014.

The Alzheimer's Society said this type of supported, independent living was an "ideal model of care".

The project, which has government funding, was developed by Teignbridge District Council in partnership with Devon County Council, the Aster Housing group and construction firm Galliford Try.

'Real alternative'

The majority of the one and two-bedroom homes for people aged over 55 - including all the dementia flats - will be for affordable rent.

A statement said communal areas and gardens will also be built, but the most significant factor was 24-hour on-site care which would be available to provide residents with "as much or as little support as they need, when they need it".

Devon County Council said that with one of the oldest populations in the UK, helping people to live independently for as long as possible was a "real alternative to residential care".

It said the number of people in Devon aged over 65 - currently 167,600 - is expected to rise by nearly 40% by 2021 and it has put £10m into its budget to help provide nearly 1,000 extra care homes across the county.

Councillor Stuart Barker said: "Most people say that they would rather, given the opportunity, have care services available to them in their own homes, when they want it."

The Alzheimer's Society said of the 13,500 people with dementia in Devon, the option of housing with on-site care and support would be welcomed by some.

"While not suitable for everyone, housing with care can potentially fill a gap between mainstream homes and care homes for some people with dementia," spokeswoman Kathy Milosevic said.

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