WHAT IS SHELTERED HOUSING?
Sheltered housing is the name given to flats and bungalows designed and managed specifically for older people or people with physical or sensory impairments.
Sheltered housing is independent housing – not a care home or nursing home. Every sheltered resident has a tenancy for their flat or bungalow like any other Housing Association tenant.
Sheltered housing offers:
WHO IS SHELTERED HOUSING FOR?
You can choose to live in sheltered housing if you are over the age of 60 (the age can vary on some properties). If you are not sure whether you will be able to access sufficient support in sheltered housing, you should ask the Councils Social Services Department to carry out an assessment of your needs (a community care assessment).
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY ALARM SYSTEM AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Every sheltered flat or bungalow has a small wall-mounted speech unit - normally in the hallway. This is connected to ‘pull cords’ (like bathroom light switches) in most rooms, and also linked remotely to a small pendant which you can wear or carry around with you.
If you pull one of the cords, or push the trigger on your pendant, you can speak to a support worker (or someone in the community alarm monitoring centre) from any location in your home at any time of the day or night .
The support workers who answer calls on the community alarm system are trained to deal effectively with any difficulties or emergencies that may occur. If you aren’t able to communicate, the person answering the call will know that you need help and will take the necessary steps to provide it.
Many sheltered landlords fit remote opening key safes in their schemes which allow the emergency services quick access to your home in the event of an emergency. Where these communal keys safes can’t be fitted, your landlord will normally provide on request an individual key safe outside your front door to fulfil the same purpose.
WHAT HELP DO THE SUPPORT WORKERS PROVIDE?
Support workers can help you to:-
• Access help from social services
• Access help from health agencies
• Claim the welfare benefits you are entitled to (for example, housing benefit, council tax benefit, pension credit, attendance allowance)
• Access appropriate aids and adaptations for your home
• Access services from other agencies (for example, community meals, shopping services, cleaning agencies, transport services, care and repair services, and other housing support providers)
• Access educational, social or recreational activities
• Resolve any other issues and difficulties that are causing you worry or concern
Support workers are not able to carry out cleaning, or to provide personal or nursing care. They also cannot administer medication. However, if you need this kind of assistance they can help you to obtain it from other agencies.
HOW MUCH HELP CAN I GET FROM THE SUPPORT WORKERS?
Most sheltered landlords offer flexible support packages. This means that you can choose how much support you need and change the amount of support you receive in response to your changing circumstances.
WHAT COMMUNAL SERVICES ARE PROVIDED?
Some sheltered housing schemes offer facilities such as a communal lounge and kitchen. These can be used by residents and outside groups for social activities and meetings.
Other types of services and facilities vary at different locations but may include the following:
HOW MUCH DOES SHELTERED HOUSING COST?
If you are on a low income you can apply for help to pay your rent and building services charges (Housing Benefit) and support service charges (Supporting People Grant.)
Eligibility for these benefits depends on your individual circumstances – the landlord can advise you about this before or after you move into your home.
If you don’t qualify for Housing benefit or Supporting People grant you will have to pay your rent and service charges from your own income.