If you are over 55, extra care housing may be the right choice for you.
You may be thinking of moving or have to leave your home, because of life changes or health problems. A move to extra care housing means you can remain independent, but also get the care and support you need. It gives you the security and privacy of a home of your own, a range of facilities on site, with 24-hour care and support services on hand.
The additional facilities can vary depending on the scheme, but usually, include:
- 24-hour access to emergency support
- an on-site care team 24/7
- social and leisure activities
- a restaurant, and/or meal provision
- fitness facilities and classes
- reablement services
- a base for healthcare workers
Extra care housing includes properties and purpose-built accommodation such as flats, apartments, bungalows and retirement villages.
These can be for rent, shared ownership or outright sale, with many schemes offering a mixture of tenures.
How is extra care housing different?
- You are living at home - not in a home
- You have your own front door - you decide who comes in
- Couples and friends can stay together
- There is a mix of able and less able older people
- Care and support staff on the schemes 24 hours a day - if you need them
- You get support to keep your independence
- You can join in social activities - or you can be private
- You have control over your finances
- You have security - the aim is a home for life
How much does extra care housing cost?
There are three elements to the cost of extra care housing:
- the cost of buying, or renting
- the service charges associated with your home, for maintenance
- and any communal facilities
- your care and support costs
The amount you pay will vary depending on your individual situation and your income. You may have to pay for all the costs, or you may be entitled to benefits to meet some or all.
You may find that your care needs fluctuate up and down. This can mean that you need different services at different times, and as a result, your care and support costs may increase or decrease.
How do I get a place in an extra care housing scheme?
Once you have identified an extra care housing scheme you may be interested in, you are ready to start your application. The application and the eligibility criteria can sometimes vary depending on the scheme and its location.
Most schemes have links to the relevant local council and will normally have eligibility criteria, which you will need to meet in order for your application to be successful. You will usually need to be:
- above a certain age (usually over 55)
- a resident in the area (or have connections to the area)
- assessed as needing extra care housing by our Adult Social Care Services Team
Comments from extra care housing residents
“Everything is a 100% better now I am living at Oakwood Gardens. Nothing is too much trouble for people here. We meet up for coffee mornings, chat in the lounge area, I am a quiet person, so I sometimes join in or enjoy listening to what people have to say.”
“I am so happy here; I don’t have to walk up and down lots of stairs worrying that I’ll fall. I can open the windows and doors if I want to, I can get in and out of my flat slowly and safely. My son is a lot happier; I know he used to worry about me.”
“Since I moved here, it has made the world of difference. They cannot do enough to make me feel settled and safe. I feel happier because I feel safer and that makes me want to do more.”
“I have a lovely safe wet room I can take my time in, there’s room to move around in and I don’t worry that I will fall over. If I have a fall then I’ll use my lifeline and I know the carers are here. I am independent, I want to be for as long as I can, I know that I will need help, but whilst I can do things for myself I want to. My family are a lot happier when they visit me.”
“The people here are really nice. When I go out, I look forward to coming back, which is great. I’ve slept so much better since I moved, it’s so quiet. Even my family have commented on how well and rested I look. I get my hair washed and blow-waved every week, it’s all lovely.”
All housing providers and care providers have their own complaints procedures which they will be able to tell you about.