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Plans for new learning disabilities unit for the elderly

Plans for new learning disabilities unit for the elderly

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Plans for new learning disabilities unit for the elderly

Les Amis and Jersey Home Trust have submitted plans to build the first elderly and 'complex needs' nursing care unit for Islanders with learning disabilities in St. Clement.

Subject to planning approval, the Nursing and Complex Needs Unit, which includes 24 residential units and one visiting family unit, will be built at Evelina Court on the eastern side of La Rue de Samares. It is expected to open by the end of 2018.

The application comes as Jersey dementia nursing facilities are at full capacity with an increasing older population. Projections show a rise of 35% between 2010 and 2020, with approximately 7% of older adults having dementia.

Les Amis says that Jersey has very limited capacity in long-term care for adults with complex needs; these individuals are often delayed in hospital because there is no appropriate long-term care for them in the Island.

The new unit will include en-suite bedrooms, a sensory room, an atrium and garden, and will be suitable for high-dependency, end-of-life care. It will provide long-term residential accommodation to adults with learning disabilities who have nursing needs and may have also developed complex needs or dementia. In the new unit, Les Amis staff and registered nurses will provide 24-hour care.

Shaun Findlay, Managing Director of Les Amis, said: “Often people with learning disabilities have poorer health than their non-disabled peers; they have a shorter life expectancy and increased risk of early death when matched with the general population. We know that around 1,400 people are currently living with a form of dementia in Jersey, but probably only half of them have received a diagnosis. We also know that the number of people with dementia is likely to double in the next 20 years."

"If we consider that people with learning disabilities are more likely to suffer illnesses and conditions much earlier in their lives than the general population, the above statistics are very worrying for Les Amis, and the Island in general. It is why this new unit is not just desirable but essential.”

The construction of the unit will be funded by the JHT, as Michael Van Neste, Chairman of JHT trustees, explained: “As a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to provide social rented accommodation, co-operating with charities and voluntary bodies is enshrined in the JHT constitution, and the Trust is proud to be building this unit for some of the Island’s most vulnerable individuals.”

Les Amis will be raising funds to furnish and equip the unit. 

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