Exchange your current home
If you currently rent from a housing association or council, you may be able to exchange or ‘swap’ your home for a more suitable one.
Sheltered housing is accommodation specifically designed for older people (or younger disabled people) to allow them to live independently. It usually consists of self-contained flats with communal facilities. In most cases, it is available to people aged over 60, although some schemes may be open to those over 55. Sheltered accommodation can be bought or rented, either by individuals or couples. To apply for sheltered housing in Somerset, you will need to make an application through Homefinder Somerset.
Extra Care housing
Extra Care housing combines accommodation with care and support services. There are many different types of Extra Care housing, from small communities of flats and bungalows to retirement villages. The facilities and care provided will vary, but Extra Care housing schemes usually include:
- self-contained adapted flats or bungalows
- on-site care and support staff, providing personal care and domestic services
- emergency alarms throughout the scheme, with 24-hour help available
- communal facilities and services, such as a lounge, dining area and garden
Applicants who it is felt would benefit from Extra Care housing 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.
Almshouses are run by small, independent charitable trusts, many of them established hundreds of years ago and with many of the buildings now listed for their architectural merit. Each charity is run by a board of trustees and has its own rules determining which older people it can house. For example, some almshouses were set up specifically for the workers of a particular local trade or for those in a certain parish. The Almshouse Association manages a list of local almshouses and contact details.
Abbeyfield offer older people supported living arrangements that are similar to Extra Care. They also run care homes, some of which offer nursing care or specialist facilities for people with dementia. A key element of Abbeyfield is to address loneliness and so most Abbeyfield houses have a live in-house manager and shared main meals. You can search the Abbeyfield website for vacancies.
Whether you’re choosing a care home for a loved one or moving into one yourself, the process can feel daunting. Information about nursing and residential care homes can be found within our Adult Social Care webpage.