Borders’ first dementia unit opens

Ray Jones (chair of the board of trustees) and Jane Douglas (executive care director) at the new Queen's House dementia facility in Angraflat Road, Kelso.
Ray Jones (chair of the board of trustees) and Jane Douglas (executive care director) at the new Queen's House dementia facility in Angraflat Road, Kelso.

The first specially-designed dementia unit to be built in the Borders welcomed its first residents in time for Christmas.

The two nine-bed houses are the first stage of the project to be built in the grounds of Queen’s House in Angraflat Road, Kelso, with the additional nine-bed Evanthea House to be completed by late spring 2019.

It is estimated that there are around 2,500 men and women living with dementia in the Borders.

Murray House has been specially designed with a unique insight into what can be done to support dementia sufferers, based on evidence and research into what makes a difference. So far 42 jobs have been created with more to follow next year.

Jane Douglas, executive care director at Queen’s House, worked with the trustees as well as consultants from Hammond Care in Australia, utilising the principles of design to support the people living with dementia and enhance wellbeing.

She said: “Our residents and their families are at the heart of everything we do, and in order to improve wellbeing and support, it requires an environment and care approach that is truly centred around the individual and their needs.

“This is the first facility of its kind in the Borders, and we worked closely with experts across the field who understand the importance of design for people living with dementia.

“This meant we were able to create a purpose-built care home that can meet the many different needs of our residents and is comfortable, safe and, most importantly, feels like home.”

Ray Jones, chairman of the board of trustees at Queen’s House, added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming our first residents to Murray House in the coming weeks.

“It was our ambition to create a state-of-the-art dementia centre here in the Borders to provide an environment that meant those in need of specialist care can stay within their own community and close to those they love.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local community and all those who donated or supported this project.

“We’ve not only been able to create this fantastic 18-bed home for people with living with dementia, we will also be able to provide significant benefits to the community and have created 42 quality jobs in the region.”