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New residential care home opens in Chatham

Date: 28/07/2010           Category: Social Care

An £8 million state-of-the-art residential care home in Medway has been officially handed over to Avante Care & Support, part of one of the largest social care providers in the South East. Amherst Court, Chatham, was built by Denne Construction for the Avante Partnership and will be home to 112 residents with dementia. Named in recognition of its connection to Chatham and proximity to Fort Amherst, Amherst Court was designed with the Eden Alternative in mind. A new philosophy that aims to tackle loneliness, helplessness and boredom in older people, the Eden Alternative places an emphasis on spontaneity, companionship and variety and is being rolled out across Avante Care & Support’s 19 homes in Kent and South East London. Cederic Frederick, Chief Executive of the Avante Partnership, said: “We are extremely proud of this new building and what it will represent for our customers. Amherst Court will offer the highest quality of care for older people living with dementia in surroundings where residents can enjoy a safe and stimulating lifestyle.” Built in just 18 months, the home’s 112 ensuite bedrooms are divided into six suites, each containing a lounge area and dining room, which gives a more intimate and homely feel. Additional communal areas such as a music and games room are situated at the end of each hallway, ensuring residents never reach a dead end when exploring the home. Paul Newstead, Contracts Manager at Denne, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to have handed over the completed project. The scheme has been a resounding success and it has been a pleasure to work in partnership with Avante throughout the course of the development. We hope that all of the residents will be delighted with their new home.” Medway Council owns the site at Palmerston Road, which was previously occupied by the Churchlands Residential Care Home, and has granted a long lease to the Avante Partnership to enable the home to be built. Thanks to special arrangements made between the Avante Partnership and Medway Council, places at Amherst Court will be available for local residents at an affordable price. Cllr Tom Mason, Medway Council’s portfolio holder for Adult Services, said: “The redevelopment of this home is wonderful. The council had identified the need for extra dementia care in the area and through partnership with Avante Care & Support we have been able to provide this in a modern setting. “Residential care is one part of a range of services that will meet the challenge of dementia care, for those who can no longer remain independent within their own homes. Amherst Court has been designed to meet residents’ needs and provides them with plenty of opportunities to take part in stimulating and interesting activities in a state-of-the-art facility.” Residents that previously lived at Churchlands were moved temporarily to Avante’s Shaws Wood home, Strood, to enable the demolition and rebuilding to take place. Together with residents from Lennox Wood, Twydall, they will move in to Amherst Court in August. Avante carried out extensive consultation with residents and their families over a two-year period to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum. A further 28 bedrooms are available for new residents and open days will be held every Saturday throughout August from 10am-4pm. Amherst Court also has a licensed café bar, a hair salon and secure landscaped gardens and terraces. Additionally, the home will offer flexible day care services to support families that are caring for a relative with dementia in their own home. For more information on Amherst Court, call 01795 597431, email enquiries@avantecaresupport.org.uk or visit www.avantepartnership.org.uk. ENDS For more press information, please contact: Rachel Knight or Andrew Metcalf, Maxim, 01892 513033 or email: first name@maxim-pr.co.uk Notes to editors Established in 1990, the Avante Partnership (including Avante Care and Support and Stepahead Support) is a charitable company and one of the largest social care providers in the South East. Avante supports more than 3,000 people a year through its residential care homes for older people, domiciliary care services for older people and people with a physical or learning disability, as well as community based services for young people and families.