New Care Home Facility To Be Considered

Cabinet will this week consider proposals to invest in the development of a new Extra Care facility in the Cynon Valley.

A report which feeds back on the recent public consultation around preferred options for the future of Maesyffynnon Residential Care Home recommends investment in a new Extra Care facility on the site of the current Home. 

Extra care is a specialist housing model with care services attached which delivers:

  • an alternative to residential care, nursing care, and sheltered housing,
  •  a much more modern care setting.

Cabinet set out in February that its preferred option, following the temporary closure of Maesyffon Residential Care Home as a result structural concerns, was to develop alternative extra care housing provision on the current site

“Following an extensive consultation with residents and staff the Cabinet will this week consider the feedback of this exercise and recommendations for the future delivery of care services from Maesyffnnon."

The report to be considered by members of the Council’s Cabinet states that more people are living longer, and whilst most people are able to live active  and independent lives, an increasing number need care and support to overcome the effects of long term illness, disability or family breakdown. The Group Director for Community Services states in his report that the traditional services the Council has provided in the past do not offer the flexibility required to address changing demographics and to offer the most relevant care arrangements in response.

“A public consultation was held between 11th April and 23rd May and concerns have understandably been raised during the process, about  the possible future for Maesyffynnon Residential Care Home. This proposal provides a way forward and through significant investment will deliver a modern new care facility which provides care arrangements which are relevant today on the same site.

“The current building was not of course designed to meet current expectations or future requirements and that is why a new Extra Care facility is proposed.

“The number of older people supported permanently in care homes has reduced over recent years. People want to remain independent and to live safely in their own homes for longer rather than move to a residential care home. Older people’s aspirations are quite rightly changing and, as with the rest of the population, older people have higher expectations for  independence, choice and control over their lives.

“In order to deliver the on-going modernisation of adult services accommodation and best meet the needs of our community, the need to develop more specialist extra care housing as an alternative model of community based accommodation in order to maximise independence and choice is supported by the preferred option outlined in the report for the Cabinet to consider.

“Cabinet will fully consider the feedback from the consultation and the recommendations made by the Group Director to take forward care arrangements on this site.

“As a result of the structural issues identified last year and the need to meet the changing expectations of care users, the status quo is not an option. Through investment, estimated at this stage to be around £7M, we can transform the care arrangements the Council is able to offer from this location to meet the future challenges and requirements we face to keep people independent.”

The estimated cost of developing an extra care housing scheme of around 40 units is estimated at approximately £7 million, based on specifications developed for the Talbot Green extra care housing scheme currently being built. Cabinet members recently visited an Extra Care facility in Merthyr Tydfil to see first hand the model of service delivery in action.

Extra care housing is a form of specialist housing with care services and wouldprovide a well tested and effective alternative to residential care, nursing care, and sheltered housing. Extra care housing is different from the more traditional forms of care and housing because:

  • people are living in their own home
  • people have their own self-contained one or two-bedroom apartment with their own front door
  • couples and friends can stay together
  • people have access to on-site communal facilities, for example activity rooms, a communal lounge, restaurant/café and therapy rooms
  • there are organised activities people can join in with if they wish
  • 24 hour care services are located on site
  • there is a mix of people with differing levels of need who receive support to maintain their independence
  • people have control over their own finances
  • there is housing security – the aim is a home for life even if people’s care needs change over time

Personal care and support services would be available to all residents on site at times, if required, and would be scaled up or down as required by the individual as their needs change. This means extra care housing can accommodate people with a range of needs, including those with dementia, nursing and end of life care who would otherwise be catered for in residential and nursing placements.

Maesyffynnon is a 26 bed residential care home for elderly people, located in Aberaman. The Home was constructed in the 1960’s and over the years has been subject to regular planned maintenance. However, as with all care homes of this age there is a requirement for significant refurbishment and upgrade work to be undertaken relating, in particular to, the replacement of the Home’s mechanical services and boiler plant.

In light of the significant building maintenance issues, Cabinet on 6th October 2015 agreed to the temporary closure of the Home and the transfer of residents to alternative appropriate placements, whilst options for the future of the Home were fully investigated by officers. At the time of this decision, there were 19 permanent residents living at the Home and all of them were transferred to alternative appropriate care homes. 

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