Abbeyfield Ballycastle to embark on £500k refurbishment plan

Abbeyfield Ballycastle, which is part of the Abbeyfield UK (NI) group that was recently voted one of the UK’s best sheltered housing schemes, has received planning approval for its £500,000 refurbishment plan.

One of 19 Abbeyfield houses in Northern Ireland, the Quay oad premises provides sheltered housing for older people in comfortable, family-style accommodation for seven to 10 residents,

Announcing the redevelopment plans Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield UK (NI) said: “Ballycastle House opened in 1991 and is currently home to four residents. At present there is a steep driveway and steps to the front of the property. Through the refurbishment programme we will regrade the driveway, install ramped access at the front of the house, and introduce new pathways and enhance the landscaping to make the house more suitable for frailer residents.”

Geraldine continues: “Inside the house a through floor lift will be installed to accommodate those who may not be able to utilise the stair lift. To increase the range of relaxation space a sun lounge will be added to the side of the house, offering views of the garden which was designed as part of an Anneka Rice Challenge! For those who need assistance with their personal care an assisted bathroom is also being introduced, while all existing ensuites will be upgraded to include level deck showers. A general upgrade of the kitchen, fire alarms and call systems also features in the plans. Following all of the building work, a full redecoration will also be undertaken.”

It is anticipated that the redevelopment work will start in August/September 2011 and will take approximately six months to complete. Work will be phased so that the existing residents do not have to move out of the house while the improvements are being undertaken.

Welcoming the investment, Yolanda McClintock, Area Manager Abbeyfield UK (NI) said: “This is an exciting time for Ballycastle House. The current residents are looking forward to seeing the plans become a reality and we hope the improvements will enable residents to be more independent by removing any access concerns.

“Abbeyfield Houses provide the privacy and security many older people seek when managing alone in their own home has become a burden. Residents come and go as they please, receive visitors and enjoy meals provided by the House Staff. They are free from the worries of maintaining a house and garden, paying bills and dealing with loneliness. At the centre of these homely houses are Abbeyfield staff who are employed to ensure that the House is comfortable and safe and that meals are nutritious and enjoyable.”

Yolanda added: “Our role is very much to support the residents to help them to remain independent and be involved in the community. We do this in a number of ways. Every day two meals are prepared, cooked and served and all residents have an input into determining the weekly menus. If residents need us to liaise with social services in relation to their care needs, we fulfil this role and we can also assist in making appointments, filling out forms etc. Abbeyfield Ballycastle is also a secure environment, with a 24 hour careline link.”