Concerns raised about dementia care in the Dales

First published in News
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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

FAMILIES with loved ones suffering from dementia have raised concerns about their transfer to a new extra care scheme.

Relatives say the new facility in Leyburn may not be suitable for the needs of people with dementia currently living at the town's Brentwood Lodge.

North Yorkshire County Council is working with Broadacres Housing Association and Richmondshire District Council on plans for a 53-apartment extra care complex on the edge of Leyburn.

As well as self-contained apartment for independent living, the facility would include 20 one-bed units for people with dementia.

Residents of Brentwood Lodge will get first refusal on the rooms.

However, Hazel Derby, of Leyburn, whose husband John has dementia and lives at Brentwood, believes the proposal has not been thought through.

After attending an information event on the plans, she is worried there will be fewer staff covering more residents at the new facility.

“If there is going to be less staff, how can they look after more people, especially when they're on two different floors?

“I'm also worried there is going to be no stimulus for the residents.

“I know they've got to save money but it's going to be at the cost of the residents and their families.”

Another woman, whose mother is cared for at Brentwood Lodge, said her main complaint was that nobody from the county council or Broadacres had spent time at Brentwood finding out about the requirements of the dementia residents.

The woman, who asked not to be named, added: “When High Hall at Bainbridge was converted to extra care housing, the people with dementia who couldn’t cope there were moved to Brentwood Lodge.

“It’s difficult to see how these people are going to be accommodated at this new extra care development.”

The woman believes Brentwood should become a specialist dementia unit when the new extra care facility opens.

In response to the concerns, North Yorkshire County Council said the new facility would include a 20 one bed apartments specifically designed to support people living with dementia.

A spokesman added: “The care and support service will continue to respond to the needs of people living with dementia.

“Therefore no aspect of dementia care and support will be lost and accommodation will be improved.”

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