“Home from Home” Supported Living is the Social Care Model of the Future11th May 2023
“It really is a home from home.” The thoughts of a tenant who moved into Cedar Court, a supported living facility in Downpatrick for older people and those with mild –moderate dementia and more recently those over 50 with a physical disability, who may require a little extra help.
This purpose built modern facility, run by the South Eastern Trust in partnership with Choice Housing, has been described as the future of social care.
Nestled in the hills of Downpatrick, enjoying stunning views, Cedar Court boasts 24 apartments for tenants, who have an assessed need. They can paint and decorate their individual apartments to their own taste and importantly surround themselves with furniture and cherished reminders of home. Many apartments also have a spare room where family members can come and stay. Cedar Court offers a round the clock service where skilled staff provide the required support, tailored to individuals.
80 year old Frank Teggart, who moved in 6 weeks ago, says he felt very isolated in his rural home after suffering a stroke and is now able to enjoy the company of other tenants, if he so wishes, or remain in his apartment if he wants some time to himself. Frank explains, “ I love it here. My wife is in a nursing home and I was living on my own for around 8 years in an isolated part of the country and at times I was just looking at the four walls.
“I love the social aspect of it. We have a curry night on a Wednesday and we gather every afternoon for tea and a chat. There are barbecues, we celebrate birthdays and the staff organise trips out. My daughter says I have a better social life now than I ever had but I can also just close my door and read my books if I feel like it. It is just my home now. I could not be happier. “
The Manager of Cedar Court, Mark Baker manned the barbecue for the tenants as he described how, “Cedar Court is a happy place for all the tenants to live and all the staff to work in. The skilled staff are here 24 hours a day and we try to keep people as independent as possible and not be invasive in any way. When they do need support we are there for them day and night.”
There was an air of excitement running through Cedar Court as some of the tenants prepared to go with staff to a Neil Diamond tribute act in Belfast.
Donna Collins, whose mother Joan is one of the tenants in Cedar Court insists the staff there provide a “Rolls Royce service” which she can’t praise highly enough. “We have peace of mind that mum is safe and happy and she enjoys so many events such as bingo and movie nights and there is so much more than that. Mum just loves it. “
Cedar Court has its own sweet shop, coffee dock and even “Cider Court” where tenants can gather for a chat and even bring their own tipple!
The Director of Primary Care and Older People in the South Eastern Trust Clare-Marie Dickson says, “This totally person centred model for each of the tenants is the way forward. I think it is what both older people and their families want. It is a home from home with support 24/7. It is a fantastic supportive model of care.”