You may be thinking of moving, or have to leave your home, because of life changes or health problems. In Peterborough, accommodation options include sheltered housing, Extra Care housing and traditional care homes.
A move to Extra Care housing means you can remain independent, but also get the care and support you need. Extra Care housing is specially designed accommodation for older people who are becoming frail and are less able to do everything themselves. If you are over 55 and need some care or support to live independently, Extra Care housing could be for you. Support means help with things like running your home, collecting your pension, filling in forms and taking part in social activities. Care means personal care, such as help with washing, dressing, getting in and out of bed and to the toilet if needed. Schemes offer ‘supported independence’ to older people with varying levels of care need in purpose-built, self-contained flats or bungalows, each with its own front door. People have their own tenancy and in some schemes it is possible to buy or partbuy your flat. Housing (with care) for older people is now a long way from the image that most people hold
Each Extra Care scheme offers a range of activities and services in addition to a communal lounge, laundry, guest suite and mobility scooter store.
Many also offer on-site restaurant, shop, hairdressing salon, therapy/arts and crafts room, multifaith room, fitness suite, entertainment suite and internet café.
Depending on the Extra Care scheme, you may be able to keep pets. It is important that you mention you have a pet when you apply, in order to check that the scheme operates a ‘pets are welcome’ policy.
The idea is to give residents more choice and control than traditional residential care can offer, in a safe and secure environment, free from loneliness or isolation.
The amount you will have to pay will depend on your individual situation and income, and the scheme that you are moving into. Each scheme will charge a different amount depending on the size of the accommodation and the services provided. Costs could include rent or mortgage payments, service charges and payments for care and support. You may qualify for help with some or all of these costs. It’s important that you get advice before you move in and claim all the benefits you are entitled to.
Care homes offer residents help with personal care such as bathing and dressing, and some also provide nursing care from qualified staff. In a care home, there is no tenancy but you will be given a contract or agreement covering the services provided. Some care homes have en suite facilities and all have communal areas such as lounges and bathrooms.
Homes may be owned or managed by different organisations, including private owners, businesses and voluntary organisations, or the local authority. All care homes, regardless of their size, have to be registered and display a registration certificate. All care homes are registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
All care homes have staff on duty 24 hours a day, and all offer accommodation, personal care and food. Care homes without nursing (sometimes known as residential homes) provide the level of personal care that a competent, caring relative might provide, such as help with dressing or bathing. Care Homes with nursing (sometimes known as nursing homes) provide a higher level of care and must employ qualified nursing staff.
Each care home is registered to offer care for a particular group of people and this varies according to the type of facilities available in the home. This is included on their registration certificate and they cannot take people from other categories. Within care categories some people have age limits for the people they take. You should bear in mind that the home may only care for a small number of people at any one time in certain categories.
The following are the care categories used by the CQC in registering homes:
The Health and Care Act 2008 and Regulations set out standards which homes must meet for a registration certificate to be provided, without which they cannot operate. The regulations cover adequate staffing levels, room sizes and facilities in the building, home routines, social opportunities, access to healthcare, food standards, staff training and a range of other measures.
When you have decided what option you are looking for, and you have found several homes or schemes in the directory that you think might be suitable for you. You should contact the manager of the home or scheme to ask for more information and a copy of their brochure. You should check whether they have any vacancies, what their charges are and if they offer the kind of care you want. Arrange to visit the homes or schemes that you are interested in. Please see our list of suggested questions to ask/things to look for when visiting a prospective home or scheme. Visiting the home or scheme will give you a chance to meet staff and other residents and talk to them it.
You are making an important decision, so make sure that you ask questions. The staff will be happy to answer your questions. You might want to take a friend or relative with you when you visit the homes or extra care housing schemes. It is sometimes good to listen to another person’s view; they may have noticed something that you did not. If you are not physically able to visit the homes, ask someone who knows what you want to visit on your behalf.
You can find some suggested questions on the questions to ask when visiting a prospective care home page.