Happy home to be created in Dingwall for older residents
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A woman with a passion for bringing joy to older people’s lives is planning to open a care home on Dingwall’s High Street.
Andrea Fraser (51), who has owned the National Hotel since 2011, plans to reopen it as a care home with a difference, offering a space for group activities such as dancing and celebrations.
A planning application for a change of use for the building from a hotel to a care home has been lodged with Highland Council.
It is proposed that the current layout of the hotel is maintained with a lift proposed at a future date.
A separate application to the Care Inspectorate, to licence the care home, will be made in due course.
Care worker Mrs Fraser, originally from Brazil, said: “Me and my business parter Maxine Worsfold just simply love the thought of providing a care home in the heart of the High Street that allows people to have the support they need for daily life, but are still part of a wonderful community.
“So often I see that care homes are for people at the end of their life, but we want to build a place that has a reputation for simply being for older people who want to thoroughly enjoy their life. Who says that a care home needs to be dull? We want to create a loving and joyful community of older people who get the best care, but also get to enjoy every last day of their life in surroundings that allow them to remain part of the Dingwall community.
“My first love was working with older people, and while I currently work with young people – a job I also completely love – I really have a vision for changing the type of care home that is offered. This is a residential community for older people. We want it to have so much life.
“I don’t want to open a care home that looks after people as they end their lives, I want to have a place that allows people to enjoy every day of their lives. Being on the High Street next to shops and hairdressers, as well as places to go out to a café and maybe even a pub, is my vision.
“We will fully comply with all the regulations for a care home in terms of standards, but we will also offer something a little bit different from the norm. It is very exciting to come up with the new plans.
“We want to offer a home to people who want to take part in the next stage of their life. We want to have a large function room for people to take part in activities such as dancing and other fitness and group activities in the space.”
She continued: “I ran the National Hotel until I had a surprise pregnancy at the age of 43, and we let the hotel out to be run by managers.
“Due to a change in their circumstances the hotel came back into my management in 2018, and we have remained open, but we are now in the position of opening up as a change of use to the building as a care home.”
“For me it is going back to doing something that I absolutely love. Bringing joy to people in their older years is something quite incredible.”
The application was validated on May 26, and is now under consideration by council officers.