Housing specially designed for older people
Perhaps your children have grown up and moved on, and you no longer want to deal with the upkeep of a large house and garden.
Perhaps you would like to make new friends in your own age group.
Perhaps you would like the reassurance of extra security and support services to help you live life to the full.
There are a range of housing options for people over 55; why not consider specially designed accommodation for your retirement?
What is Sheltered Housing?
It’s accommodation designed with older people in mind: a place where you have your independence and your privacy, but you can enjoy the company of other residents when you want it, security and the convenience of extra facilities.
Each sheltered housing scheme is different but typically they consist of bungalows, studios or apartments which form their own community. A Support Manager is available at agreed times and in some cases lives on site. There is also a 24 hour emergency alarm and assistance service when the Support Manager is not on duty. Your own accommodation would be self-contained – you remain in charge of your own lifestyle including cooking, decorating your home and who visits you. Extra facilities vary but usually include areas for socialising, guest accommodation, a laundry and garden. A printed copy of this information is available to download on the link below:
Is it for me?
Most residents are over 60 (some schemes take people a little younger) and could be single people or couples.
If you are looking for a smaller home, which is easy to maintain and has added security, but you don’t want to lose your independence, then sheltered housing could be the answer. Some schemes are happy for residents to have pets, and all schemes provide accommodation for family members and other guests to stay overnight. If you need extra services like home care, the Support Manager can assist in arranging any additional services you need in your home, but if you need high levels of care you might find that ‘very sheltered’ or ‘extra care’ housing would suit you better.
‘Very sheltered’ housing offers 24-hour security and on-site support by residential staff. Care services need to be arranged from an external provider, but the scheme provides three meals a day, included in the charge.
Extra care housing offers on-site support and personal care services in your own accommodation. The level of care that each resident receives is tailored to their individual needs.
What kind of support will I receive?
This will vary from scheme to scheme, but a Support Manager is generally responsible for your safety and wellbeing. They will regularly check to see how you are and respond to any emergencies.
They help you settle in, explain how everything works and arrange for any necessary repairs and maintenance. They also encourage social activities within the scheme, advise you of what’s going on in the community and liaise with families and any support services that you require.
The Support Manager is not responsible for personal care services, such as dressing, cooking or shopping for residents but will liaise with these services if you need regular care.
How can I apply?
Wigan & Leigh Housing are in charge of letting vacant flats and bungalows in Council sheltered schemes and they also make nominations for at least half of the vacancies from other providers. You can register your interest with Wigan & Leigh Housing at one of the Property Shops in Leigh and Wigan town centres. Available properties are advertised on a weekly basis. Staff in the Property Shops will be able to advise and assist you with your application.
You can also apply directly to providers of non-Council schemes you are interested in. The length of time it takes for a property to become available varies from scheme to scheme, but each provider will be able to advise you.
What happens if I own my own home?
A small number of sheltered housing properties are available to buy on a leasehold basis; these are advertised with local estate agents when they are for sale.
The majority of accommodation is for rent, and you would need to declare what your financial position would be if you were to sell your current home to move into sheltered housing. If you have equity from the sale, this may affect your priority and it will be taken into account for housing benefit or any other benefits you may need, so ask for individual advice.
How much does it cost?
You will be charged a weekly or monthly basic rent, plus service and support charges which are specific to each scheme. These cover the services of the Support Manager and emergency assistance and may include other things like your contribution to a communal heating system. You will be provided with full information about the charges whenever a property you are interested is available.
If you receive any home care services, these are charged for separately.
If you are on a low income, you may be able to get help with some or all of the charges through Housing Benefit. If you decide you are interested in moving into sheltered housing, the Support Manager will help you make a claim for Housing Benefit based on your individual circumstances, but for further general information you can telephone 01942 828644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What residents say
“Your life improves, you enjoy the company, the outings, the socials, the security of the alarm system”
“It is very comfortable and you can please yourself if you want to go out or not”
“I feel safer and there are lots of other people with whom I have contact”
“Put your name down as soon as possible, you will not regret it”