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Anam Cara respite centre officially re-opens

The Anam Cara dementia respite service in Kilbirnie has reopened its doors following an extensive refurbishment project, boosting support for people with dementia and their carers in North Ayrshire.

Operated by NAHSCP, the service can currently accommodate up to 9 guests for short respite breaks, offering this critical support within a bright, welcoming and modern home-from-home environment.

The project saw a full revamp of the building’s interior, including new furniture, décor, flooring and lighting throughout.

In the main lounge and dining area, an archway was created to open up the space and allow better access to the outdoors, with new windows fitted and a 72-inch smart TV installed. The en suite bedrooms also have Smart TVs, with Alexa devices available for guests who wish to video call their loved ones.

An area of the building has been transformed into a calm and quiet sensory room, where guests can relax and enjoy a foot spa, hairdressing, manicures and other therapies that can promote health and wellbeing.

Artworks for the walls of Anam Cara were very kindly donated by members of both Beith and Irvine camera clubs, featuring recognisable images taken throughout North Ayrshire to help stimulate memories for guests. A fantastic holiday-themed mural in the main corridor will also provide talking points for guests and staff.

The internal works were completed by a full makeover of the reception area and replacement of the generator and boiler.

Outside, the main garden area has been fully landscaped, with new garden furniture and a ramp installed from the conservatory to allow better access for guests to enjoy the outdoors. The building has also undergone repairs to the roof, fascias, gutters and roughcast.

The respite service had been temporarily relocated to the vacant Taigh Mor site in Beith to allow the service to continue while the works were carried out.

The refurbishment works have proved a big hit with staff and guests alike.

Care Assistant Caroline Tiffe, who has worked at Anam Cara for more than 10 years, said: “Our building was tired and in need of a refit, but it is now a bright, sunny area with beautiful gardens and lots more room for activities.

“The lounge being opened up has created more options for guests to move around freely and independently, with staff being able to visually observe. The garden off the conservatory is also a fantastic place for guests to walk or take part in games on the grass area when the weather allows, or even just to sit and enjoy the outdoors, have a chat or watch the birds at the feeders.

“Feedback from some recent guests is that they would like a library area, so we have ordered bookcases, and both Tesco and North Ayrshire Libraries have kindly offered to donate books for us to use.”

Guests Elizabeth, Betty and Cathy, who stayed at Anam Cara last month, also praised the new-look centre, adding: “The building is very nice, with plenty of light and a choice of areas to sit in.

“The bedrooms are excellent, with your own toilet and comfortable beds, and the pictures along the corridors are beautiful.

“There’s a good variety of food and choices of entertainment, including live entertainment, and the staff are so friendly, welcoming and helpful.”

Health and Social Care Anam Cara

The importance of this service for those living with dementia cannot be overestimated. Anam Cara’s newly refurbished facilities ensure:

  • Residents with dementia can access to respite stays in a bright, comfortable and modern home-from-home environment;
  • A place to allow families and carers the opportunity to take a break from their caring responsibilities;
  • Residents will be well looked after by the facility’s specially-trained staff.
“Our building was tired and in need of a refit, but it is now a bright, sunny area with beautiful gardens and lots more room for activities.”

Care Assistant Caroline Tiffe, who has worked at Anam Cara for more than 10 years

Anam Cara Respite Services Official Reopening group photo
Anam Cara Respite Services Official Reopening group photo. (Left to right): Kerry Rennie, Senior Manager, NAHSCP; Clare Mills, Anam Cara Manager; Caroline Cameron, NAHSCP Director; Paul Doak, Head of Finance and Transformation, NAHSCP; Scott Hunter, Chief Social Work Officer, NAHSCP
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