A new model of assisted living is to coming to Inverness, with a later living village planned alongside a new care home in Milton of Leys.
Parklands Care Homes’ 11 property development has been approved by Highland Council, with construction likely to begin this summer.
The later living village will sit near to Parklands’ 59-bed care home, already approved for the site.
The homes are designed to act as a bridge between independent living and the care home sector with residents able to benefit from access to shared services and social activities with the care home.
The two-bed bungalows will offer a living room, kitchen dining room, sun room and private patio.
Each home will have its own landscaped gardens and private parking bay, and there will also be visitor parking.
Parklands says the homes will be competitively priced.
The development has been welcomed by local councillor Carolyn Caddick, who described it as a fantastic idea.
She said: “I’m a fan of innovative approaches to elderly care.
“There’s a need for homes for people who need a little support but don’t want to give up their independence.
“This could be of particular benefit too for couple where one partner needs care before the other and could move into the care home, keeping the couple close by each other.”
In addition to a cafe and hairdresser, the care hub will have a playgroup for local children.
Mrs Caddick said: “Experience in places like Denmark show that intergenerational activity is really good.
“It’s what life used to look like years ago when people grew up with extended family round about.”
Parklands will maintain the landscaped grounds and oversee house maintenance, bin collection and laundry services.
The project will go out to tender in the summer with construction of the care home and later living village scheduled to begin this autumn.
The later living village concept is a first for Parklands which operates eight residential care homes in Moray and Highland.
Its new 40 bed care home is set to open in Fortrose this month.
Ron Taylor, managing director of Parklands Care Homes, said: “The care sector is evolving and the way we deliver care is changing as people live longer and lead more independent lives.
“ Our new later living village will act as a bridge between the traditional model of residential care and the relatively new concept of later living care, where residents live independently but can access shared services, giving them added peace of mind.
“This is an exciting new direction for Parklands and a model we could conceivably develop elsewhere.”
He added: “This year will also see us begin work on the new care home for Inverness, an integral part of our new care hub.
“It will be our biggest ever investment and signals our strong commitment to the Highlands.
“Together with our new care home in Fortrose opening this month, this investment will substantially increase care provision in the Inner Moray Firth area.”
Parklands also operates care homes in Tain, Muir of Ord Grantown, Aberlour, Keith and Buckie.