Wednesday, 16 September 2009

New respite centre for adults with learning disabilities

Plans are being presented to councillors at Neath Port Talbot Council next week (Thursday 17th September) to build a state of the art respite centre for adults with learning disabilities.The proposed location is adjacent to Scarlet Avenue in Sandfields, Port Talbot.

Currently, respite care is provided at Rhodes House in Aberavon and Beaconview in Neath, but both facilities no longer meet modern day standards.

Two years ago, the council approved the proposal that a new facility was needed so that more local people can access respite care.

Carers, service users and staff have identified this location as their preferred choice.

If proposals are approved, consultation will go ahead with all interested parties prior to a planning application being submitted.

Research shows that there is a growing need for respite care. A survey was carried out amongst carers who highlighted issues around respite care which concerned them.

More breaks for carers, a suitably located homely care facility, providing high levels of care in a safe environment are just some of their concerns.

Emergency support and a place where there are other people they have things in common with and looked after by sensitive, compassionate and competent staff were others.

Leader of Council, Ali Thomas, said, "These proposals will be for a first class facility for local people.

"Residents in Neath Port Talbot will reap the benefits of this new provision, both adults with learning disabilities, and just as important, their families who more often than not are their full time carers."

If councillors approve the proposals, a team will be set up to move the project forward.

Building work could begin next October (2010) with completion in March 2012.

There are around 540 people with learning disabilities living in Neath Port Talbot and approximately half of these live and are supported by their parents in the family home.

Based on national trends, the population of people with learning disabilities is likely to increase by 1% a year. This equates to a rise in the adult learning disability population of approximately 50-60 people every 5 years.

Of the 250 people with learning disabilities living in the family home, approximately half (120) are being supported by parents who are over the age of 60 and of this group a third are 70 years or more.


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