Supported living helps people live independent lives - Morrow and Hamilton

Date published: 11 February 2016

Supported living plays an important role in helping older people, including those with dementia, to retain their independence.

Cuan Court tenant Anne Gibson chats with Social Development Minister Lord Morrow MLA and Health Minister Simon Hamilton MLA

That was the message from Social Development Minister, Lord Morrow MLA, and Health Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, as they visited a supported living housing scheme in Newtownards today.

Cuan Court and Cuan Terrace are located on the site of a former residential home in the West Winds estate. They were funded at a cost of £4.3million, with £3.5million provided from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive through the Department for Social Development (DSD), and £0.8million by Apex Housing Association.

The scheme provides 34 self contained one and two bedroom apartments for older people with mild to moderate dementia and those with learning disabilities. The apartments were designed in association with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) to provide facilities which met residents’ individual needs, including wheelchair accessibility.

After visiting and seeing at first hand the new development, Minister Morrow said: “I am delighted that my Department, alongside the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and Apex Housing, have been able to provide this impressive facility.

“It is clear from chatting to residents today that these new homes at Cuan Court and Cuan Terrace have made a positive impact to their lives.

“Through careful planning and consultation Apex has been able to construct a scheme which has resulted in a comfortable, practical and safe environment for the residents.”

Tenants at Cuan Court are provided with a care plan, tailored specifically for their individual needs, and are encouraged to remain active in carrying out daily tasks. However, staff are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are specially trained to provide practical support and care to help tenants optimise and maintain their independence.

Health Minister Simon Hamilton added: “Supported housing schemes play an important role in helping older people, including those with dementia to retain their independence and remain part of their local community for as long as possible.

“I was very impressed with the excellent facilities at Cuan Court and it is a great example of what can be achieved through government Departments, Housing Association and the Trust working together to provide safe and supportive housing for our older people”.

Gerry Kelly, Apex’s Chief Executive said: “Apex is delighted to have worked in partnership with the South East Health and Social Care Trust and the Department for Social Development to deliver this first class facility for our older citizens and people with learning difficulties. Both Apex and the Department expended over £4million during the construction of the scheme and this investment has made a significant contribution to the on-going regeneration of the West Winds estate where Apex had previously provided 15 new dwellings at Blenheim Drive. Apex is also delighted for the support received from the local community and would like to thank West Winds Primary School for taking part in a competition to name the buildings.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The 34 self contained homes comprise 10 x two bedroom wheelchair adapted apartments and 14 x one bedroom wheelchair adapted apartments for the frail elderly along with 2 x two bedroom wheelchair adapted apartments and 8 x two bedroom apartments for learning disability tenants

2. The scheme cost £4.3million, including land purchase, construction costs and associated on costs. The Department for Social Development funded £3.5million in housing association grant through the Housing Executive, with Apex Housing contributing £0.8million in private borrowing

3. Construction work commenced in 2012 and was completed in Autumn 2014

4. Pupils at West Winds Primary School entered a competition to name the new housing scheme with Cuan Court and Cuan Terrace chosen as the winners

5. Photos can be viewed later on the DSD Flickr page 

6. Media enquiries to DSD Press Office on 028 9082 9454 or email: Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned. 

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