A £25.6m scheme of care apartments for the elderly in Harrogate has been approved by North Yorkshire County Council.
The proposals involve building 142 new extra care apartments across three sites in Harrogate, demolishing four existing care homes.
Woodfield House, Greenfield Court, Heath Lodge and Wells House will all be replaced by the new extra care apartments including 48 beds for people with higher levels of dementia and 20 specialist apartments for people with low levels of dementia.
Over 100 residents face being uprooted by the scheme.
Alex Bird, chief executive of Age UK North Yorkshire said: “Lessons have got to be learnt from previous schemes and we need to be talking to people in the homes and family members and work out what is best for the m.
“Moving is something that need to be sensitively handled. None of us like moving and change and as we get older people find it more stressful but if sensitively handled it can be done.”
Juliette Clark, head of Extra Care at NYCC said: “The building will be done on a phased basis so that people will only have to move once.”
Fifty apartments will be built at the former Highways depot site in Starbeck, with work scheduled to being in March 2014.
Another 46 apartments will be built on the Heath Lodge care home site on Pannal Ash Road and 66 apartments and a 48 bed care home will be built on the site of Greenfield Court on Wetherby Road.
NYCC Executive member Coun Don Mackenzie (Con, Harrogate Saltergate) said: “These faciltites are what residents want. Residents say they want to be able to live independantly with their own front door but with access to the care they need.”
Residents will rent or buy the apartments on sites with public facilities such as restaurants and hairdressers, then buy in care packages to suit their needs.
Dementia care, 24-hour-support and end of life palliative care will be available.
Mrs Bird said: “The good part of these proposals is that it allows people to remain independent, have their own home and own front door but still have access to support.
She added: “They will be almost like a little village.
“These should be a home for life so that when people move in they won’t have to move again.”
North Yorkshire County Council were unable to answer questions on how much accomodation and care at the scheme will cost residents, Mrs Clark said: “The cost is different for each person depending on their needs and circumstances. Traditionally Extra Care has been more cost effective.”
The scheme is expected to take six years to complete and will more than double the number the of people housed in specialist accomodation from 107 to over 210.
The council will now consult with residents, their families and staff on the plans before they are put forward to the full council for approval.
North Yorkshire County Council were unable to answer questions about staffing at this time. The proposals state there could be some redundancies.
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