• Fifty extra care homes to be built in Leicestershire

Fifty extra care homes to be built in Leicestershire

“Oak Court is an exemplary partnership project that will integrate housing, health and care to improve the quality of life for people over 55. It will be a place where people will want to live."

Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive

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Work has started on a new housing scheme to be managed by Enable that will combine quality self-contained homes with on site care and support for older people in Blaby, Leicestershire.

The £7.8 million scheme, named Oak Court, is being developed by emh group in partnership with local builder Westleigh, Leicestershire County Council, and Blaby District Council.

It includes fifty one- and two-bedroomed flats and a range of communal spaces and facilities where tenants can interact with one another and with the wider community. There will be a hairdresser’s, café, cinema room, spa, library, and arts and crafts spaces.

The flats will be spacious and flexible, so they can adapt to residents’ changing needs, and the design includes a generous amount of semi-private and communal outdoor space. Crucially, residents who require extra care will have 24-hour access to a team of on-site care professionals.

Chan Kataria, Chief Executive of emh group said: “People’s attitudes to the kind of homes they want to live in in older age have changed. Unfortunately, housing that caters for this age group has remained fairly static and we now have many outdated, inappropriate housing schemes in the region that older people just don’t want to live in.”

The scheme comes on the back of a national drive to integrate housing, health and care to better meet the needs of an ageing population. In Leicestershire, where there is a shortage of this kind of accommodation, the number of people over 65 and living alone is expected to rise from 43,300 in 2011 to 76,600 by 2030 - a 63% increase in under 20 years.

Mr Kataria went on to explain: “We need up-front investment in schemes like this if we are to meet the needs of our ageing population. And we know this kind of investment has wider pay-offs including savings in public expenditure. Appropriate housing with support is shown to cut down on hospital admissions and reduce visits to GP surgeries, for example. We hope this is the first of many for the region.”

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