Extra Care housing: Providing elderly care in a home environment
For many of us, approaching old age can often mean having to make some difficult decisions about where we live and who will care for us. In recent times there has been a significant trend in people wishing to stay and be looked after in their own homes. However, once that becomes difficult what are the options?
Hampshire County Council is going to invest £45 million over the next decade to stimulate the development of Extra Care housing.
Extra Care housing is the County Council’s response to the changing needs and aspirations of the ageing population.
Working closely with partner organisations in property development and social housing, Extra Care provides individual housing units, within a larger development, where support and care are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Extra Care also enables couples, whose needs may be very different, to stay together.
The Extra Care schemes are for older people, typically in their 70s and 80s, but schemes vary and some cater for a wider age group from 55 years plus. They are designed to be mixed communities where people have different levels of care need.
Each apartment is private, but with the added benefit of shared facilities such as laundry, lounges and gardens. In addition, there will be communal facilities which can also be used by people not living in the scheme such as restaurants, meeting rooms, hairdressers, foot clinics etc. There is also an emphasis on social activities such as choral groups, healthy walking, photography and film clubs. For many people, continuing to have a home with their own front door, but with the extra reassurance that help is at hand any time of the day or night, is an ideal solution. Extra Care enables people to move out of houses, where the physical environment limits their ability to remain independent, into accommodation where they can be comfortable, secure and continue to live independently.
Apartments in Extra Care schemes are rented and are primarily open to people who have both an assessed care need and a housing need. However, in one scheme (Basingstoke), a number of apartments are for sale – this may become an additional feature in new developments.
Hampshire County Council’s aim is to have 240 new build Extra Care housing units available across the county by 2012, along with a further 350 enhanced units in existing sheltered housing schemes offering a similar level of care and support. Taking the total to 590.
There are four new schemes that have recently opened or are due to open shortly:
- Andover, Lion Oak Court - 52 units for rent.
- Gosport, Juniper Court - 50 units for rent.
- Fleet, Campbell Place - 74 units for rent.
- Basingstoke (due to open in February 2012 ) - 64 units split 34/30 for rent and for shared ownership.
The enhanced services will additionally operate in Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh and Lymington. Helping older people to live well and independently, for as long as possible, is one of the County Council’s top priorities and Extra Care supports this by offering a better, modern style of care.
If you think Extra Care might be right for you
Contact the Adult Services Department on 0845 603 5630 or speak to your care manager. Alternatively, contact the housing departments in the following boroughs:
- Andover, Test Valley Borough Council 01264 368000
- Basingstoke, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council 01256 844844
- Fleet, Hart District Council 01252 774420
- Gosport, Gosport Borough Council 02392 584242
Find out more about Extra Care housing in Hampshire online or call 0845 603 5630