05:00PM, Saturday 27 November 2021
A Maidenhead care home for people with dementia has added 20 new rooms catering for younger people with the condition.
Larchfield House has converted its loft into a second floor to cater for 20 more people, taking its total capacity up to 95 from 75.
Two thirds of these places are funded by the Royal Borough, and the home can continue to support people who need to switch from private funding to local authority funding.
Previously, the home had been ‘pretty much at 100 per cent capacity’ all of the time, said Larchfield’s director, Cliff Grand-Scrutton.
The new units offer seven rooms for people in need of palliative care and seven rooms for somewhat younger people, while the rest of the extra capacity is in the general population.
“It means we can divide the communities up into smaller groups to make a more homely feel, with the opportunity to come together on the bigger occasions,” said Cliff.
The home has also dropped its age threshold down to people aged 55 and over, allowing it to welcome a wider range of residents.
There are plans to revisit this in 6-12 months’ time, with a view to potentially bringing the cap down further.
“Such a lot of people are being diagnosed much younger, (but) there’s practically no provision for people in their 40s living with dementia,” said Cliff.
In light of the younger age of new residents, Larchfield had to demonstrate to the CQC (Care Quality Commission) that its new facilities were suitable for their needs.
For example, the common area for younger people has a combined lounge-dining room, more familiar and comfortable for people in their 50s, while separate areas better suit older residents.
The decision to expand was made pre-pandemic and work took place during it, with the support of residents’ families. Also included were improvements to the garden, a cinema and community hub.
“We’re delighted to support more families and their loved ones,” said Cliff. “We will provide specialist care for anyone with dementia.”