A brand new purpose-built dementia care unit in Middlesbrough has opened and is supporting its first patients, after receiving funding from Yorkshire Bank.
The £3million dementia unit at Belle Vue Care Home – owned and managed by the Belle Vue Healthcare group – has been specially designed, incorporating retro furniture and fittings from the 1950s and 1960s, to make the stay as comfortable as possible for elderly dementia sufferers. It employs five staff and sits alongside the main 103 bed care home. The facility, which opened in late December, is now at full capacity.
As well as 16 residential bedrooms, the unit offers a variety of themed areas which mimic interior design from the 1950s and 1960s. This helps dementia patients suffering from short term memory loss but who have strong memories from the past, by serving as a calming environment to live in. Features include old black and white framed photographs of Middlesbrough, mural wall paintings, wallpapers showing a double decker London bus and the old red telephone box. In the lounge there is a period fireplace, furniture and a retro radio.
The development, named the Amara Centre, was funded by Yorkshire Bank and the package was delivered by David Jeffery, relationship manager at the Bank’s Business and Private banking centre in the Tees Valley. An increase in overdraft facilities has also enhanced cash flow options for the company, and will allow Belle Vue Healthcare to invest in the Amara Centre’s future.
Dr Dilip Acquilla, managing director at Belle Vue Healthcare, said:
“Since we opened the new extension, it has proven to be very popular with the patients and families. The retro fittings provide residents with a relaxed environment to live in, and minimise the discomfort caused by dementia. It’s been a great addition to our offering at Belle Vue Care Home and serves an important purpose in the community.
“We’ve been with Yorkshire Bank since we opened the main care home in 1996 and have a strong relationship. They understand our business and support our vision for the future. In the business community there is a saying that banks are good at offering an umbrella when it’s not raining but quick to take it away when it starts. Our experience with Yorkshire Bank is that the umbrella is always there, giving the confidence to invest in business expansion and innovation.”
Brian Lake, head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private banking centre in the North East, said:
“Belle Vue Healthcare has been providing high-quality care for the elderly for 20 years and looks set to continue with the success of the new dementia unit.
“It is extremely rewarding to know that through our funding, there will be a real and positive impact for the local community in Middlesbrough. As economic conditions continue to improve, Yorkshire Bank remains focused on supporting the growth ambitions of businesses in the North East.”