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Optalis take on two Extra Care Homes

On April 1, 2014, Optalis took over the support provision for two of the borough’s Extra Care homes; Alexandra Place (Woodley), and Beeches Manor (Wokingham). Optalis are providing on-site staff support 24 hours a day, seven days per week, to both services. Extra Care housing is housing designed with the needs of older people in mind, and with varying levels of care and support available on site. People who live in Extra Care housing have their own self-contained homes, their own front doors, and a legal right to occupy the property.

Alexandra Place is a purpose-built complex of 64 one and two bedroom flats, situated in Woodley, Reading. The site is for older people aged over 55, a proportion of whom may have been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Beeches Manor is a purpose-built group of 18 flats, situated in Wokingham. Its residents are people who have been diagnosed with dementia.

Anne Lawn, Business Area Manager for Supported Living, said: “It’s a really exciting opportunity for Optalis, but also for the people living there. We’re already thinking of ways in which we can make a real difference to the residents’ lives, meaning that they can live well with dementia.

“At both sites, we’ll be introducing further daytime activities for people, taking place within the building, for example, seated exercises, therapeutic arts and crafts classes run by local artists, and we’re even looking into introducing/reintroducing pet therapy sessions. In general though, Optalis are looking for, and open to, creative ways in which to work with residents and their families so that we can provide an excellent quality of life to those we care for.”

Over the next year, Optalis plans to roll out Dementia UK’s Bee Inspired dementia training programme to over 40 members of staff working at the two sites. The training was successfully rolled out across other Optalis sites, including Suffolk Lodge, Pinehaven Day Service, and Cockayne Court.

In related news, Optalis has very recently become a member of the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). DAA is a national group made up of over 900 organisations committed to transforming the quality of life of people living with dementia in the UK, and the millions of people who care for them.

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