COUNCIL members have met with experts to explore dementia-friendly options for a care village in the Borders.

Plans for the Dutch-inspired facility first emerged in 2020 after representatives of the local authority visited the Netherlands.

It is hoped the multi-million pound plans for Tweedbank will revolutionise care in the Borders.

Selkirkshire councillor Elaine Thornton-Nicol met with staff from the University of Stirling's Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) to discuss the project, which aims to better support the changing needs of an ageing population.

Ms Thornton-Nicol said: “The intention is to provide an innovative new model of residential care for people with complex needs, frailty and dementia. This means providing high-quality support through proactive intervention and preventative action. We are delighted to be working with the University of Stirling, a leader in the field of dementia, to help achieve this.”

Tweedbank is one of two care villages currently under development, the second being in Hawick.

Councillors were told in September that the original vision for the Tweedbank facility would not be possible due to escalating costs.

They were also informed that the estimated price of the project had risen from £14.7m to £19.3m.

The vision for the village is to allow people to live in “small, homely settings” and as part of the community, rather than as a separate institution.

During the council's visit to the university, staffing models were discussed, as well as how research can inform the improvement of the village’s community care and services.

Lesley Palmer, chief architect at the DSDC, said: “Our collaboration with the Scottish Borders Council exemplifies our shared commitment to improving the lives of people with dementia. We are all stakeholders in ageing, and as people live longer it is vitally important that we are ready to support them. The new care villages mark a significant step in our collective journey towards creating a more dementia-friendly society.”

Based at the University of Stirling, the DSDC is a world leader in dementia-friendly design, which is seen as one of a set of non-pharmacological interventions for people with dementia.

An estimated 50 million people live with dementia worldwide, with that number expected to triple by 2050.