Extra care is a specialist form of sheltered housing which is ideal if you are not ready to give up your independence and privacy but might not be safe living completely alone, for example, if you have mobility problems or mild dementia.
The accommodation is modern and purpose-built with accessible bathroom and kitchen facilities, wide doorways and an alarm system for emergencies.
How does extra care work?
A manager attends to the day-to-day running of the scheme, while a team of care workers look after people’s personal care needs.
The level of care provided to each resident is dependent upon an assessment of their needs by social services. Personal (home) care services are not included in the rent.
Like sheltered housing, extra care residents are tenants and are responsible for furnishing their flat and paying utility bills; however a mid-day meal is usually provided in a communal dining room and a weekly cleaning service is generally included in the rent.
Would extra care housing be suitable for me?
It’s worth considering extra care housing if you:
- prefer self-contained accommodation with your own front door
- enjoy the peace of mind of having care staff around 24 hours a day
- don’t want to cook every day (most extra care homes provide one meal a day)
- want the benefit of communal facilities, e.g. hairdresser, shop, library, garden
- enjoy socialising with others, e.g. events, trips
- prefer to have your own furniture and belongings around you.
Many people living in extra care housing receive a high level of support from care workers.
Paying for extra care
Depending on your income and savings, you may be eligible for Housing Benefit to help pay the rent.
Remember, however, that the rent you are charged does not cover the cost of any personal care services you receive – these are assessed and charged separately.
Finding an extra care scheme near you
Your local council can advise you on extra care providers in your local authority area; however, if you know which extra care property/provider you are interested in, you can usually apply directly to the housing association.
Carehome.co.uk offers a comprehensive online search for extra care housing by country, region, county, town or postcode.