“You don’t just come here to die, you come here to live, it’s about the experience”, said Lesley Keefe, deputy nurse manager of Preston’s newest care home.
Finney House, sat on the site of the former Deepdale Disability Centre in Sir Tom Finney Way, will welcome its first resident on August 22, and expects to welcome one more each week day for the forseeable future.
In total there are 32 rooms available on a residental basis, with a further 64 rooms on two higher floors dedicated to nursing care.
Prices for residential rooms start at £900 a week and £1,100 a week for nursing care.
Each room is decked out in the style of a boutique hotel, with the latest in plush home furnishings, a wet room, television and in-room safe and medicine box.
Lesley said: “It’s safer to have a person’s medication locked in their own room rather than with everyone else’s on a trolley.
“And with the safes - why should they have to hand over their posessions?”
There’s also a hairdressing salon, a library, a cinema room, central hub for activities, a ‘wellbeing’ room for massage and chiropody, a lounge, restaurant-style dining area, and garden with resident model sheep Molly and Dolly and Daisy the cow.
Each floor has its own theme related to Preston, with murals of Sir Tom Finney’s ‘Splash’ photograph, and vintage shots of the city in days gone by.
A Community Library has been fitted in the hotel-style reception, with local people aged 65 and over encouraged to pop in, enjoy free refreshments, swap books and chat with staff and residents.
Lesley added: “We have absolutely nothing to hide here, and we want to dispel some myths about care homes.”
Janine Kelly, home manager said: “The way the building looks speaks for itself - it is luxury, and why shouldn’t someone have luxury when they’re approaching the end of their lives?
“But what’s most important to me is the care. You can have the best-looking building there is, but the care needs to be fantastic too.
“I’ve worked with the Care Quality Commission for a long time and I’m very aware of what they want from us. But we don’t just want ‘good’, we want ‘outstanding’ in all five areas.
“If it’s not good enough for me and my family, then it’s not good enough for anybody else.
“I want people to feel the love as soon as they walk in the door.”