Abbeyfield Ballycastle completes £500k refurbishment work

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Abbeyfield Ballycastle (30 Quay Road), part of the Abbeyfield UK (NI) group which was voted one of the UK’s best sheltered housing schemes, has recently completed a £500,000 refurbishment project.

Commenting on the enhanced facilities at Abbeyfield Ballycastle, Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield UK (NI), said: “Refurbishment work at our Ballycastle House started in May 2011 and an extensive programme of works has been undertaken since then both externally and internally. The driveway at the front of the house was re-graded; a ramp was installed at the front of the house; and new pathways introduced to enhance the landscape and to make the house more suitable for frailer residents.”

Geraldine continues: “Inside the house, we installed a through floor lift to accommodate any residents or guests who may not be able to utilise the stair lift. We also increased the relaxation space by adding a sun lounge to the front of the house which offers wonderful views of the newly planted front garden and Knocklayde. An assisted bathroom has also been introduced and all existing ensuites were upgraded with level deck showers installed.

“An upgrade of the kitchen was also undertaken and a state-of-the-art fire alarm and call system have been installed. All of these changes were then complimented by a full redecoration.”

Welcoming the modernised facilities, Caroline Owen, House Manager at Abbeyfield Ballycastle said:

“When you enter the front door the first thing you see is the beautiful stained glass porch door. When the sun shines, the light fills the hallway with an array of colours and the blend of colours immediately creates a very warm welcoming feeling.

“The original features of the house have been preserved and it is now a beautiful home which I feel very proud off. When I am showing guests around they regularly comment on the new improved environment. From the modern and tasteful dining room to the cosy lounge and peaceful sunroom, they each have their own character but all of these rooms feel very homely. It really is a pleasure to work in such a lovely home.”

Abbeyfield Ballcastle currently accommodates four residents, but now has the capacity to accommodate eight residents. Geraldine Gilpin discusses:

“This is an exciting time for the Ballycastle House. The current residents are looking forward to utilising the new space and to the prospect of others taking up residency in the modern but homely environment that has been created.

“Abbeyfield Houses provide the privacy and security many older people seek when managing alone in their own home has become a burden. Residents come and go as they please, receive visitors and enjoy meals provided by the House Staff. They are free from the worries of maintaining a house and garden, paying bills and dealing with loneliness. At the centre of these homely houses are Abbeyfield staff who are employed to ensure that the House is comfortable and safe and that meals are nutritious and enjoyable.”

Geraldine adds: “Our role is very much to support the residents to help them to remain independent and be involved in the community. We do this in a number of ways. Every day two meals are prepared, cooked and served and all residents have an input into determining the weekly menus. If residents need us to liaise with social services in relation to their care needs, we fulfil this role and we can also assist in making appointments, filling out forms etc. Abbeyfield Ballycastle is also a secure environment, with a 24 hour careline link.”

Abbeyfield is a charity providing supported sheltered housing for older people in comfortable, family-style accommodation for seven to ten residents. There are currently 18 Abbeyfield Houses operating across Northern Ireland.

For further information on Abbeyfield Ballycastle please contact Abbeyfield’s Area Manager Helen Collins on 028 40627060 or email email abbeyfieldban@btconnect.com Alternatively call Abbeyfield’s Head Office on 028 9036 5081, email admin@abbeyfieldni.org or log onto www.abbeyfieldni.org