Assure Healthcare Group (AHG) is a care service provider providing care for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities in southern England. We want to discuss a new supported living concept that we have developed through UK based advocacy groups to get feedback from stakeholders in this sector of healthcare.
This new AHG concept is driven by government’s need to reduce public healthcare expenses as our ageing population demands more financing and where fewer people (taxpayers) are paying into ‘the system’, while ensuring that the provision of care is not compromised, but rather can be improved with a well developed, supported master planned solution.
As such, we’re seeking to engage people in the learning disabilities sector for discussion about our planned care community concept that we’ve conceptually termed “The Villages”.
In brief, “The Villages” is a modern 30 - 50 acre sustainable, master planned, scaled community that is designed to accommodate adults with learning disabilities in a public community environment that caters to the needs and interests of people challenged with LD. The Villages concept is akin to a housing development inside of any town or city in the United Kingdom, where anyone may travel freely into the community or from it to any desired destination.
The idea of The Villages is multi-fold, but all premised on providing the opportunity for people suffering learning disabilities to have greater freedoms and improved quality of life while also helping to ensure they’re not left vulnerable where breakdowns might occur.
The Villages is designed to provide adults with LD a safe, 24 hour supported community where they have ready access to life skills training, social activities, jobs, access to nature and the outdoors, sport and leisure activities, light retail and basic vocational education where residents can be professionally assessed and prepared to transition into communities of their choosing.
As conceptually designed, The Villages would provide the following features for service users, their families, carers and the communities where The Villages would ultimately reside:
• Approximately 150 complete residences for service users. A standard room would be inclusive of 1 bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom.
• Approximately 15 complete residences for employees of The Villages and their families.
• Day services that include the following: numeracy and literacy, animal husbandry, horticulture, equestrian care, employment preparedness (CV development and interviewing), workshops for auto mechanics, wood and metals, etc.
• Access to holistic practitioners that provide tailored nutritional plan advice, holistic treatment options, yoga/pilates classes, life coaching, etc.
• Civic assets to include all weather football pitches, basketball courts, swimming pool, etc. These assets would be used both for resident service users and career staff as well as for hire to area youth and adult sporting associations.
• Employment opportunities for area residents, to include the following:
o Retail management positions
o Property maintenance management positions
o Manufacturing management positions
o Event coordinators
o Healthcare practitioners (traditional and holistic)
o Teachers for day services positions
o Security personnel positions
o Landscape management positions
• Camping facilities that include small cabins and camp sites for tents with supporting utilities and food services. Access to trail heads would be provided here.
• Town square for use as an entertainment and social gathering as well as for a local farmer’s market where The Villages crops and those of local growers can offer their produce for sale to the general public.
• Light manufacturing where service users and area residents would find jobs in producing various forest products, such as bird houses & baths, brooms, willow panels, fowl coops, rustic furniture, fireplace hardware, Christmas wreaths, etc.
• Conference/meeting facilities for use by clinical practitioners, families & carers, and for low cost hire to community groups, area businesses, etc.
• Light retail that would be open to service users and the public for basic foodstuffs, toiletries, prepared foods, etc.
Operating The Villages per the above concept would allow for premium support of resident service users that also has additional revenue centers that would be designed to offset part of the applicable public budget.
The Villages would operate as mostly self-sustaining communities where holistic farming practices would be practiced, coupled with a rigorous recycling culture with the intent to operate to a near zero carbon footprint as these facilities would produce as much of their own renewable energy as possible via wind and/or solar solutions.
Organic food products (produce and proteins) would be produced on site and would serve to supply the community’s food needs to the extent possible, while also offering fresh, wholesome, locally grown food products to nearby communities.
Please ponder this brief concept description and respond with your thoughts. We kindly ask that you identify your stakeholder position and feel free to make any comments whatsoever. We’re presenting this in a completely open forum for the purpose of generating genuine perspective.
AHG has the ability to execute on a Villages concept as outlined here, but will require support from service users, their families, the healthcare communities, social services and the host communities themselves.
Following a review period of 30 or so days, we’ll pool comments and plan the first of several expected public gatherings for continued discussion in person-to-person settings whereby we’ll provide renderings and generally more specific detail as feedback guides the evolution of the concept - provided there is support for it.
Let us know your thoughts at your opportunity.