This information sheet explains some of the things you need to know if you are considering moving into an Extra Care Housing scheme.
If you are finding it more difficult to live in and maintain your home, you may be considering different housing options. If you have some low level support needs, one option is Sheltered Housing. If you have a higher level of care and support needs Extra Care Housing could be a good option.
What is Extra Care Housing?
Your own home within a supported housing scheme
On-site staff on call 24 hours a day
Access to on-site communal facilities
Extra Care Housing allows you to live as independently as possible, in the security and privacy of your own home, but gives you the peace of mind that someone is on call if you need any help. Extra Care is a form of housing with self-contained, accessible and affordable one or two bedroomed flats or bungalows that you can rent. They are purpose-built or adapted to support people who have care and support needs.
If you have regular care and support needs, they can be met by the on-site team of care and support workers. Your support is tailored to your own situation and can easily be adjusted if your needs change.
You can have help with things like:
Washing, dressing and personal care
Preparing snacks and heating up meals
Shopping and laundry (privately purchased)
Some domestic tasks (privately purchased
Reminders to take medicines (as part of a care package)
There is also a night time on-site member of staff who you can call in an emergency by activating a life-line, which is available in each property. Communal facilities are also provided. These vary between schemes, but may include a lounge, craft and day rooms with organised activities, laundry, garden and guest rooms, library, hairdressing, and lunch time meals are available at most schemes. They are also often located very close to local shops and local amenities.
All Extra Care schemes have on-site staff who are responsible for delivering assessed housing related support, which includes:
Checking you are okay each day
Help with correspondence
Assistance in making health appointments, for example, with your GP
Helping you deal with money matters
Helping you to access other services, such as a handyman service
Helping you to and from the dining room to have a hot meal (there will be a charge for the meal).
Extra Care Housing schemes in Somerset
Care and Support
Business Support Team
Keyford Heights, Frome
Sheldon Drive, Wells
Pullen Court, Shepton Mallet
Homes in Sedgemoor
0800 585 360 or
from a mobile
Gibb House, Bridgwater
Hilda Coles House, Bridgwater
Elizabeth Court, Burnham
07423 479148, or
Elizabeth House, Taunton
Taunton Deane Borough Council
Lodge Close, Wellington
Magna West Somerset
07977 175 270
Ingrams Meadow, Watchet
Silvermead, Alcombe, Minehead
Yarlington Housing Group
Snowdon House, Chard
St Gildas, Chard
Bishops Court, Chard
Muchelney House, Ilminster
Bowhayes Lodge, Crewkerne
Pearson House, Yeovil
Bearley House, Martock
Laburnum Drive, Somerton
Malmesbury Court, Yeovil
Park Lodge, Yeovil
Common Road, Wincanton
Eligibility and applying for Extra Care Housing
To apply for Extra Care Housing you must first contact the landlord to discuss your requirements (please see contact details in the table above). If they think you may be eligible, they will invite you to visit the scheme and complete an application on Homefinder. A Trusted Assessor from our Care Providers, or an Adult Social Care Worker will help assess your care and support needs in the first instance. Applicants who it is felt would benefit from ECH 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. If it is felt that your needs could be met by a different housing and support solution, you will be informed of this. A panel meets to discuss and allocate eligible applicants monthly, but there may be a waiting time for some accommodation.
Paying for living in the scheme can be split into three defined areas. With the second and third of these areas you may be entitled to financial support from social care.
You must discuss what the rent and any associated accommodation cost will be. Also, ask about annual cost increases. You will always be responsible for meeting these costs. Rent is for the use and occupation of your home. In addition to your rent there will be a service charge which will cover items such as:
Cleaning and servicing communal areas
Fire alarms, detection and fire-fighting equipment
Door entry maintenance
Lighting and heating in communal areas
Maintaining communal equipment
All of the above charges are set and collected by the housing provider.
How can I get help to pay towards my rent?
Depending on your income you may qualify for Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for your rent. Your landlord will help you to apply for this.
Care and Support Cover
As well as the accommodation costs, there is a standard amount you must pay towards the 24-hour on-site staff team, who can respond if you need them. This is a social care charge which will be collected by the on-site providers.
Care costs (individual care needs)
Following your care assessment, if you have additional care needs, for example to help you get up, washed and dressed, you can choose to buy in homecare.
Care costs will be paid to and collected by your care provider.
How can I get help to pay towards my care and support costs?
Everyone who moves into Extra Care Housing will be offered a financial assessment from Adult Social Care. They will talk with you about your finances and, using national rules, work out one weekly contribution you must pay which will be towards both your care and support cover and care costs (individual care needs).
People with more than £23,250 in savings will not be eligible for help towards their care and support costs. (Capital assets, such as property, will be discussed as part of the financial assessment)
If you are a couple thinking of moving into an Extra Care Housing scheme, the standard weekly unit charge will normally be split 50/50 between the two of you.
If you both have assessed eligible care needs, you will both be offered a financial assessment to work out your weekly contribution based on what you can afford.
If one of you has eligible care needs and the other doesn’t, the cost of the on-site care and support service will be equally divided. The person with eligible needs will pay their financially assessed contribution.
If there is a change in your circumstances, and you are one of a couple without eligible care needs, you will become responsible for the full charge of the on-site care and support service (see number 2 above). If you are one of a couple with eligible care needs, you will continue to pay your financially assessed contribution.
Independent financial advice
We understand that you may be making important changes about how you live and need all the best information and help so that the decisions you make are right for you.
There are many organisations that you can either phone or arrange to visit to talk things through.
Remember, if you get financial advice and they are recommending ways that you should invest or use your money against specific financial products, they must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
You can check on this website to see what this means:
You can also get independent advice from:
The Money Advice Service website: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en offers information on paying for care or the option to speak to an online advisor. You can phone them on 0300 500 5000.
The Society of Later Life Advisers: http://societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/ can help you find advice on how to make financial plans for care in your old age. You can phone them on 0845 303 2909, or use the website to search for a regulated financial advisor in your area.
Age UK: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/ has a good website with advice for older people and those planning for their later years. You can also phone them on 0800 169 6565
Carers UK: http://www.carersuk.org/ has a website resource of advice for carers. You can also phone them on 0808 808 7777
How do I find out more?
Please phone us on 0300 123 2224
Your opportunity to feedback
We welcome your comments about the services you receive. If you would like to tell us what you think, please either:
Contact us by going to our website, www.somerset.gov.uk, or
Speak to your social care worker
Phone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224, or
Contact the Adults and Health Customer Experience Officer:
Floor B2 East
Phone: 01823 359227
This document is also available on request in Braille, large print, tape, disc and can be translated into different languages.