Sheltered Housing schemes are suited for people who want to retain independent lives, but would like the security of a Warden or Scheme Manager who is available in case of emergencies. For the active retired, the additional support that this kind of housing gives,enables them to remain living independently and offers a real alternative to residential care but the downside with these schemes is that many do not have staff to provide care.

Extra Care Housing

Many local authorities are now basing their sheltered accommodation for elderly people on a new and popular model called 'Extra Care housing'. This type of accommodation offers variety in style and choice and meets their housing needs whilst providing support and care within the community. The common aim is to support people to live independently as long as they possibly can - the new ones are often being referred to as ‘retirement villages’.

With the Government encouraging people to stay in their homes for longer and more companies providing domiciliary care, it is becoming easier to remain at home.

This housing model offers improved facilities with easy maintenance giving people the security of a home for life, social activities if they want to join them, plus 24 hour care services for those in poorer health.

Extra Care Housing offers independent living with a Scheme Manager and an Assistant, plus home care staff on site, an emergency alarm system and community facilities such as communal lounges; hairdressing; laundry; and library services. Some schemes offer more, such as a restaurant or cafeteria, a shop and guest room. You do not have to use the Care Service if you do not need to, but they are there when you do.

There are mixes of homes, rent, part-buy and owned and there are 3 elements to the cost of extra care housing:

How a person meets these payments depends on their personal financial situation. For example; they may have to meet all their costs, a proportion or none depending upon their entitlement to welfare benefits.

The advantage of these schemes is that it puts people back in control of their lives by having accommodation matching their needs rather than struggling to manage in a home not suited to their current circumstances. If, or when they ever need care, they buy in what they need as and when they need it from a separate provider.

Separation of accommodation and care is a good point for the client. It means that if the care they receive is not to their liking, they can change provider without having to move home, whereas if they were in a home, they would have no choice other than to move. This is a real benefit to the security of an older person.