£5m housing scheme for people with dementia
Published: Fri, 13 Mar 2015
A new supported award-winning housing scheme which aims to maintain the independence of people with dementia has opened in Belfast.
Helm Housing’s Hemsworth Court, located on the Shankill Road, was officially opened by the Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey, and the Health Minister, Jim Wells.
The Housing Executive, in partnership with Helm Housing and the Belfast Health Trust, developed the 35 bed scheme at a cost of £4.7million in DSD grant, allocated through the Housing Executive’s Development Programme Group.
The scheme provides one and two bedroom self-contained apartments along with a cinema, café, gym and other facilities which allow those who live there to have a full, independent and active life. The facility has also been designed to allow a partner or carer to live with the tenant in their home which means that couples can live together as a family unit.
Funding from the Supporting People Programme and Health & Social Care Trust provides 24 hour support and a range of assistive technologies are available to ensure tenant safety within each apartment.
Minister Storey said: “Being able to maintain independence is of fundamental importance for people with dementia and this type of supported housing, with its high quality accommodation, facilities and support, is an excellent way to do that. Everything at Hemsworth Court has clearly been designed, as it should be, with the needs of the residents uppermost in everyone’s minds. It is therefore no surprise that the scheme is already award winning.”
Our Director of Regional Services, Siobhan McCauley, speaking at the opening said: “Hemsworth has allowed us to develop a new template for specialised independent living services that can be delivered in partnership with other organisations.
“Those organisations can bring a specialism and their own best practice procedures to deliver housing projects that best suit vulnerable people to live fuller lives.
“Hemsworth Court is key to our delivery of the Supporting People strategy and represents a key strand of the Health Board and Health Trust’s modernisation programme to provide a new service model for older people with dementia in Belfast,” she added.
Liz Cuddy, Chair of Helm Housing, said: “Cross agency and departmental co-operation will become more important in the future as we work to meet the twin challenges of an ageing population and increasing demands for social housing. Hemsworth’s location in one of Northern Ireland’s only dementia-friendly areas and in one of the Department for Social Development’s regeneration zones means it will play an active and integrated role in the local neighbourhood in the future.”