Housing officials from Shanghai in China recently visited St Bedes, one of Orbit’s newest independent living with care schemes in Bedford, Bedfordshire. They came to see St Bedes because they wanted to find out more about how housing for older people works in the UK and heard that St Bedes was a shining best practice example. They toured the scheme to see the different features on offer, met with customers and even shared in a healthy homemade smoothie!
Lorraine Mansfield, Extra Care Development Manager for Orbit Independent Living says; “We’re thrilled that our guests from China came all this way to see St Bedes. They were really interested to learn how we are able to provide homes that are adaptable as people age and how we can accommodate their changing needs as they get older. They were especially keen to understand how the scheme encourages people to live independently, while providing support for those who may need it.
“We showed them around the customer sensory garden which helps people who are living with dementia enjoy the calmness of connecting with nature. They were also interested to hear about our pet policy and how customers benefit both physically and mentally by having their furry friends live with them.”
Independent living with care schemes give customers security and privacy, with a range of conveniences to make their lives more comfortable. St Bede’s contains 104 one and two bedroom individual apartments and shared facilities including a restaurant, cafe, hair salon, garden room with terrace, games room and a library incorporating an IT suite. It was designed to help people maintain their independence for as long as possible; should the day arrive when a level of care is required, the scheme is flexible enough to be able to offer that care. It also promotes a sense of community by offering a range of activities customers can take part in if they wish. This includes film nights, special event celebrations, a sewing club, reminiscence events and days out to local venues.
To find out more about what Lorraine has to say about St Bedes, have a look at our video here.