Kirkcaldy’s new care village is open for business

Councillor Judy Hamilton cuts the ribbon to officially open Ostlers House with some of the residents and Councillors Carol Lindsay and Andrew Rodger. Pic: Andrew Beveridge, Fife Council
Councillor Judy Hamilton cuts the ribbon to officially open Ostlers House with some of the residents and Councillors Carol Lindsay and Andrew Rodger. Pic: Andrew Beveridge, Fife Council

The new Kirkcaldy Care Village at Ostlers House officially opened its doors for business this week when visitors were shown around the state-of-the-art facility.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Wednesday afternoon and was performed by Councillor Judy Hamilton, Fife Council’s executive spokesman for housing.

The Council run complex replaces the former Appin House and Raith Gates care homes with a modern “village” set up which incorporates a 60-bed care home with five care units, 21 extra care housing units and five specific needs bungalows.

The beautiful care home has a day-care unit, its own hairdressing facilities, a cinema room, a drop-in area and cafe, sun room, a dementia garden and many more features to offer a range of enhanced living for elderly people in the Kirkcaldy area.

Each of the five care units operates as a small community within the larger care village, which also includes 26 affordable homes adjacent to the care facilities, to help meet the council’s local housing needs.

The extensive kitchen facilities will also cater for the Meals on Wheels service for the Kirkcaldy area.

Work to build the complex began in June last year and was carried out by Robertsons Construction. The facility was handed over to the council in September, with the first of the home’s new residents moving in last month.

The cost of building the complex was £5.35m, and it was built on a design based on wide ranging consultation with service users, staff, relatives and carers.

Other care village developments around the country were visited to see how their layouts worked, and professional agencies including the Care Inspectorate and occupational therapists were consulted.

Cllr David Ross, local Kirkcaldy councillor and leader of the Council, said: “The completion of the first care home village in Fife is a great achievement. Extensive consultation with residents, service users, families, staff and others has taken place throughout the project and their feedback has been incorporated into the specialised design and layout.

“The care village will safeguard and meet the needs of vulnerable and elderly people in Fife now and in the future.”

Two more care villages in Lumphinans and Glenrothes are due for completion in 2017.

Jim & Margaret’s view - new home is like a palace!

Two of the first residents in Fife Council’s new care village have described their home as “like a palace.”

Jim and Margaret Napier moved into their two-bedroomed extra care bungalow a month ago and say they love it.

Margaret (68), who relies on a wheelchair and Jim (70) moved from St Fillan’s Place as Margaret needed more support.

And they say that the accommodation and staff, who are in daily contact to provide support, are first class.

“Every morning the warden gives us a call to see how Margaret is and if we need anything. We get the use of the facilities like the hairdresser and cinema room - it’s a great way to meet people. We’re over the moon.”

The wheelchair accessible house is fully fitted with an alarm system and cupboard with a recharging point for Margaret’s wheelchair, a wet room and large kitchen.

Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive spokesman for housing, who cut the ribbon to open the village, said: “The best of both worlds is creating a community in which older people can thrive. It has been a tremendous achievement across many services to bring together such a fantastic project.”

Ian Donaldson, a care home resident, added: “I lived in Raith Gates for over three years and was apprehensive at the thought of moving, but the staff have been so kind. I would like to thank the Council and builders for giving us a lovely home, a beautiful building and great facilities.”

Councillor Neil Crooks added: “Society should be measured by the way the elderly and vulnerable are looked after. Everyone who backed this investment should be feeling pretty good.”