Extra care housing is similar to sheltered schemes, with self-contained accommodation together with some communal facilities.

In an extra care scheme, a higher level care and support package is available on site, this makes it suitable for people who have care and support needs.

Extra care allows you to live in your own self-contained accommodation and have regular care and support needs met by a designated team of care and support workers, including a night-time on-site member of staff who can be available in an emergency.

The complex is often built around a garden or communal facility and is also linked to a central control centre for security and emergencies. There are usually communal facilities, such as a lounge, craft and day rooms, laundry, garden, guest rooms, and lunches are available at most schemes.

If you are finding it more difficult to live in and maintain your home, you may be considering different housing options. If you have some low level support needs, one option is Sheltered Housing. If you have a higher level of care and support needs Extra Care Housing could be a good option.

What is Extra Care Housing?

  • Your own home within a supported housing scheme
  • On-site staff on call 24 hours a day
  • Access to on-site communal facilities

Extra Care Housing allows you to live as independently as possible, in the security and privacy of your own home, but gives you the peace of mind that someone is on call if you need any help. Extra Care is a form of housing with self-contained, accessible and affordable one or two bedroomed flats or bungalows that you can rent. They are purpose-built or adapted to support people who have care and support needs.

If you have regular care and support needs, they can be met by the on-site team of care and support workers. Your support is tailored to your own situation and can easily be adjusted if your needs change.

You can have help with things like:

  • Washing, dressing and personal care
  • Preparing snacks and heating up meals
  • Shopping and laundry (privately purchased)
  • Some domestic tasks (privately purchased
  • Reminders to take medicines (as part of a care package)

There is also a night time on-site member of staff who you can call in an emergency by activating a life-line, which is available in each property. Communal facilities are also provided. These vary between schemes, but may include a lounge, craft and day rooms with organised activities, laundry, garden and guest rooms, library, hairdressing, and lunch time meals are available at most schemes. They are also often located very close to local shops and local amenities.

All Extra Care schemes have on-site staff who are responsible for delivering housing related support, which includes:

  • Checking you are okay each day
  • Help with correspondence
  • Assistance in making health appointments, for example, with your GP
  • Helping you deal with money matters
  • Helping with housing and tenancy related issues
  • Helping you to access other services, such as a handyman service
  • Helping you to and from the dining room to have a hot meal (there will be a charge for the meal)
  • Managing the building

To apply for Extra Care Housing you must first contact the landlord to discuss your requirements. If they think you may be eligible, they will invite you to visit the scheme and complete an application on Homefinder – https://www.homefindersomerset.co.uk/

A Trusted Assessor from one of our Care Providers or an Adult Social Care Worker will help assess your care and support needs in the first instance. Applicants who it is felt would benefit from ECH will ultimately require a full needs assessment by Adult Social Care.

Adult Social Care and the landlord are responsible for agreeing who can move into Extra Care and who has priority. This is because Adult Social Care contributes money to all the elements of the scheme that makes it “Extra” care, for example, the 24 hour available support. If it is felt that your needs could be met by a different housing and support solution, you will be informed of this.

A Panel meets to discuss and allocate eligible applicants monthly, but there may be a waiting time for some accommodation.

Extra Care Housing Schemes in Somerset

Aster Communities

Care and Support Business Support Team 03334 008 222 (Keyford Heights, Frome)

Homes in Sedgemoor

Customer Services 0800 585 360 or from a mobile 01278 552400 (Gibb house Bridgwater, Hilda Coles house Bridgewater, Elizabeth Court Burnham on sea)

Sanctuary House

Scheme Manager 01823 325533 (Elizabeth House Taunton)

Taunton Deane Borough Council

Alison Bagley 01823 785904 (Kilkenny Court Taunton, Lodge Close Wellington)

Magna West Somerset

Sarah Ashby 01643 705862 or Nick Hill 01305 216058 (Ingrams Meadow Watchet)

Yarlington Housing Group

Supported Housing 01935 404623 (Malmesbury Court Yeovil, St Glidas Chard, Muchelney House Ilminster, Bowhayes Lodge Crewkerne, Person House Yeovil)

What is Sheltered Housing?

Retirement and sheltered housing is for people who can live independently but need the peace of mind that there are on-site services that can be called on to provide low level support for short-term or longer-term needs.

There are different types of sheltered schemes and retirement housing, to rent and buy. They are provided by councils and Housing Associations. Schemes usually consist of between 15 and 40 dwellings. These may be bedsits, self-contained flats, bungalows or luxury apartments. The complex is often built around a garden or communal facility and is linked to a central control centre for security.
Most schemes have a manager or support worker, and a community alarm service. There are often communal facilities; usually a lounge, laundry, guest flat and garden. Meals are not normally provided, but a few schemes include a restaurant and some can arrange hot meals.

Private developers also build retirement housing for people with very minimal support needs, who are usually over 55 years, to buy or rent, or for shared ownership.

Retirement housing is aimed at people with very minimal support needs, while sheltered housing is for people with higher level support needs, for example, people who can live reasonably independently but may need some support with daily tasks.

Often, people who move into sheltered housing, through the enabling type of service, find they can do the things they were struggling to do before, more easily.