Specialist residential care facility for people with dementia opens

A specialist residential care facility for people with dementia was officially opened last week. The Water Mill in Goscote, which was built in a partnership between  Housing 21, Walsall Borough Council and Willmott Dixon, welcomed invited guests to join residents in the celebration.

Amongst those attending the event was the Mayor of Walsall, Cllr Garry Perry, who presented residents and staff with a commemorative plaque. Guests were also entertained by music students from Walsall College.

Providing 30 residential places and 10 respite places as well as day care facilities for people aged 55 and over, The Water Mill is Housing 21’s first specialist residential facility for people with dementia and is built on the ‘cluster’ principle to create small family environments for residents. The scheme is divided into four ‘houses’ each with 10 en-suite bedrooms, a communal living room with kitchen and dining area, a laundry room, assisted bathroom and quiet room.

Mary Bryce, regional services director for Housing 21 said: “We are very proud of The Water Mill. Since residents started to move in a year ago they have all settled really well and become actively involved in the running of their individual houses, taking on cleaning and cooking chores and engaging with one another.

“They have also integrated with the local community, enjoying shopping trips and eating out. This scheme brings significant benefits, both to the residents and their family members.”

Guests at the opening event had the chance to look around the scheme’s facilities. These include:

  • a hairdressing salon which is open to the public
  • mini-café that serves drinks and snacks for visitors and staff
  • a 1950s reminiscence room that triggers past memories and prompts discussion.

The scheme also boasts day care facilities, business offices, a guest suite, meeting rooms and consulting suite.

Councillor Barbara McCracken, Walsall Council cabinet member for Social Care and Health, said: "The Water Mill illustrates the progress that has been made to offer specialist care that is all about the best interests of the person with dementia.

“Features such as the reminiscence room there help to make a real difference to people’s well being. Residents feel so comfortable in that environment and are often able to remember important details about their lives. This helps staff have a much better relationship with residents as they are really getting to know them.

"We're very pleased to be able to offer this type of facility in Walsall."

The Water Mill is the final development in the £43 million Walsall re-provision project, which also saw the development of five extra care schemes across the borough and a rehabilitation service at Rushall Mews.