Royal British Legion Industries can now provide expert dementia care to its residents after the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent opened a £3.5m care facility on the charity’s Aylesford village.
Lady Colgrain officially opened the home, Bradbury House, which sees the leading military charity provide life-changing support to older residents – 50% of whom have symptoms of the cognitive disease.
RBLI’s Aylesford village provides a home to more than 300 veterans and their families through housing flats for young veterans, emergency accommodation for those at risk of homelessness, assisted living accommodation and two care homes.
However, this latest development completes what the charity calls “the full care pathway” which ensures that veterans and civilians in urgent need can move seamlessly through the charity’s care system as their needs increase.
The World Health Organisation warns the number of people suffering dementia is expected to double by 2030. Current estimates are that there are more than 20,000 people living with dementia in Kent alone.
Bradbury House, so named for the £350,000 provided to the project by the Bradbury Foundation, was previously a 50-bed care home called Gavin Astor House. Since its refurbishment it has been entirely reconstructed so that residents can move in safety throughout the entire ground floor, and now features a new central courtyard garden, larger lounge and dining areas to support vital social interaction and family visits, and themes areas which promote mental stimulation and conversation.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent Lady Colgrain said: “Dementia is such a disorientating and distressing condition. It’s important we do everything we can to improve the quality of life for people with this incurable disease.
“More and more people are living with dementia symptoms. It can have a severe impact not just on individuals, but on entire families. I am so delighted that dementia care is now available on the RBLI village. This facility will change many lives.”
RBLI Chief Executive Lisa Farmer said: “RBLI’s original founders in 1919 had a pioneering vision – to create a village which not only treats illness, but where people can genuinely lead fulfilling, independent lives no matter the challenges they face.
“We are immensely proud to be delivering on this vision today. The full care pathway means that as our residents’ needs change, they can move into more supportive environments, surrounded by a dedicated and expertly trained care staff who know and love them.
“This is a significant milestone in our charity’s immediate plans to build a basis of support for veterans, people with disabilities and the wider disadvantaged community for the next 100 years.”
Chair of the National Care Association, Nadra Ahmed said: “The demand for dementia care continues to grow. Specialist services fulfil the lives of those who can no longer live independently in their own homes. And there is an amazing team at RBLI who can make that happen.”
Bradbury House is accepting applications for incoming residents. If you are interested you can see a full 3-D tour of the new facility here: www.rbli.co.uk/bradbury-house-virtual-tour