Living in Sheltered Accommodation
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?