Dundee care home’s residents to benefit from ‘village life’

Myra Welsh, 86, Doris Cairncross, 79, Jean Milton, 88, and staff member Siobhan Malone take a trip to the Bus Stop Cafe.
Myra Welsh, 86, Doris Cairncross, 79, Jean Milton, 88, and staff member Siobhan Malone take a trip to the Bus Stop Cafe.

A Dundee care home is to become one of the first in the UK to feature a “village” for its occupants.

Balcarres Care Home in Broughty Ferry is set to create a social hub, providing improved benefits for its residents, particularly those living with dementia.

The project is the first of its kind among Bupa’s care homes across the UK.

The facility has already introduced a putting green and bus stop cafe to its garden, but now plans have been announced to add a working post office, grocer’s and thrift shop.

All the extensions are designed to help the residents form a connection with memories.

The current garden features have been provided with help from the city’s community, with one local man constructing the putting green by hand and the council donating the bus stop.

Lynne McLean, manager at the home, said the works would help relieve the anxiety and confusion that can be created by dementia.

She said: “We are so excited to see the reaction from the residents once the new ‘village’ features are completed in the garden.

“They are such clever and simple ideas that I’m sure other care homes will want to view what we have done.

“The creation of the bus stop cafe and putting green is so important to help people living with dementia.

“It allows them to re-connect with memories or recognisable social surroundings in a safe and familiar environment.

“We are very excited to continue to expand this project and add the post office, grocer’s and thrift shop.

“These kinds of features have been proven to provide residents living with dementia with cognitive stimulation, which relieves any feelings of anxiety and confusion.

“We are aiming to make it as authentic as possible for the residents, so the shops will have opening and closing times throughout the day.

“We will take them out in small groups, so it will be like a real day out.

“We even have fake money, so they can actually purchase the products.

“We always aim to provide the highest level of care to all our residents.

“We believe the ‘village life’ setting is a fresh and innovative way in which to do this.”

She added: “We are very thankful to all the kind and generous people who have helped.”