You should be able to stay in your own home for as long as you want. You can find lots of helpful advice on remaining at home on our Staying independent pages.
To find out how well your home suits you, you can complete the questionnaire on the Housing Options for Older People (HOOP) website.
If you are no longer able to remain living independently at home you may need to consider other options which may include moving into sheltered housing, extra care housing or supported living for people with disabilities.
You may also want to consider accommodation which is specifically built for people aged 55 or over.
Is it the right decision for you?
Downsizing is a common trend among older homeowners. It enables you to release equity from a larger family home that’s risen in value, swapping this for something smaller, and more manageable in retirement.
However, there are pitfalls.
To help you decide if it is a good thing for you, SAGA have published a really helpful 'Quick Guide to Downsizing' which raises some questions to consider before making the move.
What is sheltered housing?
Sheltered housing means having your own flat or bungalow in a block, or on a small estate, where all the other residents are older people (usually over 55, sometimes older). With a few exceptions, all developments (also known as 'schemes') provide independent, self-contained homes with their own front doors.
There are many different types of scheme, both to rent or to buy. They usually contain between 15 and 40 properties, and range in size from studio flats or bedsits, through to 2 and 3 bedroom properties. For more information, please visit the Housing Care website.
Some schemes also have their own manager or a shared manager, either living on-site or nearby, whose job is to manage the scheme and provide certain services to residents.
Housing with Care (Extra Care Housing)
Extra Care Housing is specialist housing designed for older people or people with long term disabilities.
It is similar to sheltered housing but also offers help with personal care and household chores, so it may be suitable if you have higher or changeable care needs. Many people choose Extra Care as an alternative to a residential care home because it allows for a higher degree of independence and greater options to have family and friends to visit and stay. Also if you are part of a couple and one of you has greater care needs, extra care housing could make it possible for you to continue to live together.
What is extra care housing?
Extra Care Housing combines accommodation with care and support services. The facilities and care provided will vary, but Extra Care Housing schemes usually comprise of your own self-contained flat with your own front door which includes:
- your own bathroom, lounge kitchen, and bedroom
- Access to communal lounge/s and other facilities as well as;
- gardens and communal areas
The flats are safe, secure and accessible and equipped with a 24 hour call system. There is a care team on site 24 hours a day.
Most schemes have an on-site restaurant, buggy store, hair salon, guest room/s for family members and possibly library/craft room as well.
You have the option to socialise in the communal areas with other residents and join in with activities.
You can enjoy having friends and family visit you in the comfort of your own home.
Most Extra Care schemes are one bedroom flats or bungalows but some units have two bedrooms.
When you rent, you have an assured tenancy which means you have certain rights under housing law as a tenant.
What care is available?
Each scheme has care provided and there is always a member of care staff on duty 24 hours a day to provide care and support when required. Every tenant has a support plan, which is written with their involvement and, if they wish, their families. The support plan explains the help and support they need.
The sort of support provided could include:
- Washing and dressing
- Help with preparing a meal
- Getting to, or in and out of bed safely
As well as providing daily support, Extra Care Housing is able to provide unplanned care as and when needed, and respond quickly to changing needs and emergencies.
How do I access Extra Care Housing?
Extra Care Housing is available to rent or buy. Local councils, housing associations, charities or private companies may provide schemes. To be eligible for Extra Care Housing via Peterborough City Council's council's arrangements you must have both a housing and care and support need.
A housing need would mean that your current home was no longer suitable. For example you may not be able to cope with the stairs, and have to sleep downstairs.
A care and support need means that you need help with personal care. This might include help with bathing and showering, personal care needs or assistance with medication.
Housing to buy is mainly available through private providers, usually on a leasehold basis. Before you buy, you should get independent advice on your rights and responsibilities from a solicitor. You can contact The Leasehold Advisory Service for advice and information on things to consider before buying a leasehold property.
Considering moving into a care home?
You may consider moving into a care home. There are many care homes in and around Peterborough where a number of people live together in their own room, looked after by care staff, 24 hours a day.
Care homes are independently run by a variety of private and not-for-profit organisations. The types of homes and care provided are:
Residential home – if you need help with everyday tasks, there are staff on hand to help you get washed, dressed etc
Nursing home – if you need more frequent or specialist nursing care, a nursing home has trained nursing staff available 24 hours a day
In certain circumstances, short term places are also available for people recovering from a hospital stay or illness, or to give the person who cares for them a break from their caring responsibilities.
If we agree that a care home is the best place for you to live, we can then advise you on the choice of homes and also tell you whether they have any rooms available.
We can help you find one in an area near to your own home or close to family and friends. We will encourage you, or your relatives or carer, to visit the home, to see if you would be happy there and to ask any questions. Visit our money matters section to view details of the cost of care in a care home.
You can find details of all local care homes on these pages.
If you are considering a care home, please check the latest reports from the Care Quality Commission.
Moving to or from another area
If you have needs that meet the new national eligibility criteria, you will be able to get some help from your local council wherever you live in England.
Although the level of need councils use to decide whether or not they can help will be same across the country, the help you receive might be different in different areas. For example, one council might provide a buddying service to help prevent people from feeling lonely, while another might help people to stop feeling lonely by introducing them to community events in their area, so your support package may change.
Moving in to Peterborough
If you currently have a care and support package and are moving to Peterborough, you must notify your current local council of your intention to move out of their district. They will then contact us here in Peterborough to advise of the situation. We will then contact you to discuss your needs and to confirm that you are moving into our local authority area.
Moving out of Peterborough
If you are thinking of moving out of the Peterborough area you will need to inform your social worker, to discuss the next steps and help contact your new council to advise them of your change in circumstances and contact information.
What you need to know
Everything you need to know about homelessness is on the council's Homelessness webpage
The charity 'Shelter' has lots of useful information about homelessness on their website. They also have lots more useful information on private renting, tenancy deposits, repossession, eviction, repairs, housing benefit and council housing.
Supported Living for people with learning disabilities
Offering the same rights, control and choices to people with learning disabilities
Supported living is a scheme that allows people with learning disabilities to be integrated in society which offers the same right, control and choices of ordinary living that most people enjoy. It provides an alternative to traditional care and allows people to be supported in the community as citizens and members of the society.
The main principles of supported living are that people with learning disabilities own or rent their home and have control over the support they get, who they live with (if anyone) and how they live their lives.
Supported living assumes that all people with learning disabilities, regardless of the level or type of disability, are able to make choices about how to live their lives even if the person does not make choices in conventional ways.
This housing guide sets out a range of housing services available across Cambridgeshire, and Peterborough, with links to help you find out more and get in touch with the right team.
The guide does NOT provide any kind of advice, it simply gives a picture of housing activities and how you can find out more – usually by providing a link to a partner’s website.
Some related topics such as help with mental health or finding support through other partners is also included, though not strictly housing functions these may be useful to contact. View the housing guide webpages.