Dementia care village plan for Tweedbank moves a step closer reality

Theatre Square at Hogeweyk. (Photo: Paul Tolenaar)Theatre Square at Hogeweyk. (Photo: Paul Tolenaar)
Theatre Square at Hogeweyk. (Photo: Paul Tolenaar)
The Borders first dementia Care Village, modelled on a ground-breaking facility in The Netherlands, moves a step closer reality this week.

Last year a delegation from Scottish Borders Council visited Hogeweyk ‘dementia’ village at Weesp in Holland.

That visit has partly inspired a move towards two similar facilities in the Borders, in Tweedbank and Hawick, at a cost of more than £22m.

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The concept moves away from traditional institutionalised residential care and instead creates a “neighbourhood that is part of a broader society”.

On Thursday, November 25, members of Scottish Borders Council will be asked to clear the way for a full business case for the Tweedbank development within the Lowood Estate, which would have capacity for 60 residents.

The move would require the closure of both the Waverley Care and Garden View Intermediate Care homes in Galashiels to enable the plans to progress.

A report to the committee states: "The care village will be part of the wider community and not seen as a separate institution within an area. The vision incorporates community at the heart of the village."

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It adds: “The vision of the Tweedbank Care Village model is to create a paradigm shift in care, with an alternative model for traditional nursing, residential and intermediate care, which is based on deinstitutionalisation and transformation, where people live in small, homely settings, with like-minded peers and are supported by family, staff and volunteers to live as normal a life as possible.

"The operational model provides a high quality person-centred provision for six to 10 residents per unit, equating to a total capacity for 60 residents, in a vibrant homely setting supporting unique needs, lifestyles and personal preferences for living, care and well being for people living mainly with severe dementia and frailty.

“The units themselves have their own living room, kitchen and single en-suite rooms. This will be home for these residents, so the houses will be furnished as such, emulating in the main, the original homes of the residents.”

The Hawick Care Village is earmarked for land south-east of Guthrie Drive at Stirches and is subject to a separate business plan.