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.
You can find out more about extra care in your area and whether it might be an option for you via the Guide To Independent Living or housing directories such as the Elderly Accomodation Council
You can also find helpful information on the Independent Age on Extra Care housing website.