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Living in Sheltered Accommodation

By: Judith Cameron - Updated: 21 Feb 2016 | comments*Discuss
Living Sheltered Accommodation Housing

Sheltered accommodation offers people the chance to live independently with the security of knowing that someone is on hand should an emergency arise. It can be an appropriate choice of accommodation for disabled adults who wish to live apart from their parents or for older people who no longer manage living in a larger property.

Sheltered Housing for Disabled People

Sheltered Housing is different from living elsewhere in the community because there is always a warden or manager who lives on the premises or nearby. Usually, an alarm system is fitted in the flat or house in order to call the warden should a problem arise. There are some houses that are specifically designed for the needs of people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties and trained staff are on hand to provide additional assistance.

There are also some schemes called 'extra care sheltered accommodation' or sometimes 'very sheltered accommodation'. These are for people who do not need all of the services of a residential home, but still require some degree of personal care. The services offered will vary from one sheltered scheme to another but may offer optional meals, communal leisure facilities and other support.

Sheltered Housing for Older People

This is very similar to that which is offered to younger vulnerable members of society with the difference that the units are usually small independent flats of studio apartments. Some schemes offer more autonomy than others and there are private residences where elderly people purchase their own property within the sheltered site.

Who can get Sheltered Housing?

There are several large organisations that build and manage private sheltered housing schemes for older residents. For younger people and for elderly people wishing to rent sheltered accommodation, you will need to contact your local authority to discover what can be offered and the eligibility criteria. There is usually a waiting list for local authority or housing association sheltered accommodation.

Sheltered Accommodation Staff

The scheme manager, who often lives on site, will check on the well-being of the residents, liaise with relatives, health services if necessary and look after the general upkeep of the building. As a general rule, managers or wardens do not provide personal care or undertake shopping or cleaning for residents. If these services are necessary, a care assessment should be undertaken and an application made for home care support.

What are the charges?

There is usually a monthly service charge to cover the employment costs of the scheme manager and building repairs. It is important to discover what the service charge covers and what other payments will be incurred by living there.

Choosing a Sheltered Accommodation Scheme

Visit several schemes with your loved one and discuss your feelings afterwards. It is important that you both feel that the necessary needs are addressed and that your loved one will be happy living there. Think about the followings points:

  • 1. How much does it cost and what does it include?
  • 2. If there are additional charges, what are they?
  • 3. How well does the warden appear to manage the property?
  • 4. Did you and your loved one find the warden approachable?
  • 5. What furniture or appliances are provided?
  • 6. Are pets allowed and is there a smoking policy?
  • 7. What are the security arrangements?
  • 8. Is there 24-hour cover?
    • Sheltered accommodation offers security to vulnerable people who wish to retain a degree of independence. It also offers peace of mind to close relatives and friends.

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      my mother needs very sheltered accommodation and i have to make the application for her. i don't completely understand it because although there is some there 24/7 they don't provide personal care. she will still need carers. what reasons could i put in the appllication for her needing very sheltered? she has no mobility to speak of,
      soozi - 21-Feb-16 @ 3:38 PM
      I would like to know if I could apply for sheldered accoumation my husband is going to leave me and we have a house to sell but I have ms and will never be able to get another mortage I am so feeling unwell at the moment
      susy - 20-Jul-15 @ 4:42 PM
      @Rache - sorry to hear about your sister. I have included a link to Shelter here which goes through the various options including financial ones. However, signing over her house would not financially move the asset from her to her daughter. I hope this helps.
      TheCarer - 28-May-15 @ 11:11 AM
      My sister who is disabled has her own home.She is struggling and has just had another fall and has broken her hip. We would like to know how to go about getting her into sheltered accommodation. It will be a massive upheaval for her so we want it to go as smoothly as possible. Would it be better for her to sign the deeds of the house over to her daughter? Does she sell the house in order to pay the rent for a shelteredhome? At the moment she is on benefits and the mortgage is paid.
      Rache - 25-May-15 @ 3:56 PM
      Double glazing has just been installed in the sheltred accommodation where I live. However the fitters have ommited to include opening window for freh air in the community lounge where we gather socially on a regular basis. There is a door but this would not be secure if opened or if the weather was bad. WE NEED TO OPEN WINDOWS. There were opening windows before the work was done. We wondered how we stand for asking that these opening windows should be installed.
      Pat - 1-Mar-12 @ 4:41 PM
      I am registered disabled and at present live in a regular home with family, but could I get help with sheltered housing or similar enabling me to move into my own home with support from my carers? If I am no longer wanted at home as I need alot of care, what help is there for me in finding accomodation etc.
      Lin - 8-Jan-12 @ 6:25 PM
      I live in sheltered accommodation and increasingly more people who are alcoholics are being housed here they constitute a fire risk of some degree - three fires all set off in the last year by having pans on the cooker and either going out to the pub or blacking out; they also smoke in public corridors because they are disinhibited- So this is something to watch out for. I have nothing against alcoholics its their choice but I certainly feel more at risk - Smell and the capacity to air corridors is also something to be concerned about - In my scheme there is not enough ventilation and so those of us with breathing problems suffer.
      jac - 2-Dec-11 @ 12:00 PM
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