Sheltered or extra care housing

Sheltered housing

You are assessed as having a sheltered housing need by the local district or borough councils.

Very generally, sheltered housing may be characterised by:

  • on-site or travelling warden services
  • 24-hour community alarm access
  • buildings and flats which are accessible and specially designed to meet the current and future needs of older people or people with disabilities

Independent living

Sheltered housing services (and support services) are not general health or personal care services, but rather services whose aim is to support more independent living arrangements.

For instance:

  • helping a resident claim benefits to which the resident is entitled, and assisting and enabling them to continue to receive these benefits and deal with relevant agencies
  • morning and evening checks on residents' well-being
  • social activities organised in communal spaces
  • signposting and referrals to community services

Support workers

Some housing providers recruit support workers. The support worker will help with:

  • support of residents to enable access to shopping, house cleaning, benefits claims, day services, etc.
  • providing advice and basic assistance to enable a resident to deal with their laundry, e.g. how to operate a washing machine by themselves
  • providing encouragement and motivation to a resident to keep their home clean or helping to source a home help service
  • encouraging and motivating residents to develop social contacts
  • providing residents with information on leisure activities, and encouraging and motivating service users to make appropriate use of such activities

Finding sheltered housing

If you have an adult care worker, they can provide you with information of where the sheltered housing facilities are in the county, or you can search the Care Services Directory.

Extra care housing support

If you have more complex support needs

Extra care housing support is designed for people of pensionable age who may generally be older or frailer than residents of sheltered housing. It works in the same way as sheltered housing but with more support for residents with more complex support needs e.g. additional bathroom facilities, a coordinator rather than a warden.

Extra care housing support describes a purpose-built housing environment where care and support services are provided to meet the individual resident's needs.

This type of housing provides 24-hour on-site care and support services, meals, domestic help, recreation facilities and a safe environment to its residents.

Very generally, extra care housing may be characterised by:

  • an on-site care manager and care team delivering personal care and support on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis
  • buildings and flats which are accessible and specially designed to meet the current and future personal care needs of older people
  • have privacy and quiet within their own flat to entertain friends and relatives
  • a range of on-site communal facilities like hairdressers, restaurants, computer rooms, exercise rooms, lounges, etc
  • the ability to deliver flexible care to people
  • co-ordination of care and support services delivered to individual residents
  • possibly a location for additional day services, outreach clinics such as chiropody, physiotherapy, etc.

Tenancy arrangements

The most important thing about extra care housing is that it is housing, not a residential care home. Individuals who live in extra care housing are tenants and have the rights and responsibilities of maintaining a tenancy.

Personal care services

The kind of personal care services delivered into extra care schemes can only be undertaken by trained domiciliary care workers. Personal care services might include:

  • helping someone to get dressed or undressed
  • helping to feed someone if they can't manage themselves
  • washing/bathing someone who can't manage alone
  • toileting
  • assisting with medication

The amount you pay for extra care support services is dependent on your individual financial circumstances. You will need to request an assessment to find out how much of a contribution you will need to pay.

Request an assessment or review from adult social services

If you or the person you care for has care and support needs that you feel would be best met by extra care housing support and you would like to request help from the council, please contact adult social services for an assessment or a review if you already have a care package.

How to request an assessment or review

Finding extra care housing

If you have an adult care worker, they can provide you with information of where the extra care housing facilities are in the county, or you can search the Care Services Directory.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The CQC is an independent health and adult social services regulator. Its job is to make sure that the health and social care services offer safe, effective and high-quality care.

All care providers should be registered with the Care Quality Commission – check out their reports and ratings, and ask for customer testimonials.