Extra care housing

What is Extra Care housing

Extra Care housing is designed for people who need some extra help to look after themselves, but not at the level provided by residential care homes. People living in Extra Care housing enjoy the freedom and independence of having their own front door, with the reassurance that care staff are available.

The type of care and housing offered will vary from scheme to scheme. Care staff will usually be on call 24 hours a day, to provide personal care as and when you need it. Personal care includes things like washing and dressing, but not medical care that would need to be provided by a qualified nurse.

Extra Care accommodation can be provided by a local council, a housing association or a private company. You can rent, buy, or part-own it, either by yourself or as a couple.

Watch a video about Extra Care Housing (NB This does not include information about Hampshire schemes).

Key features of Extra Care housing

  • Residents are usually aged 55 or over and are able to live safely on their own with some support.
  • The accommodation consists of self-contained adapted flats or bungalows.
  • Care and support staff are available up to 24 hours a day, often based on site, and provide personal care and domestic support such as cleaning and laundry services.
  • Emergency alarms are placed throughout the properties and site so residents can call for help, day or night.
  • There are some communal facilities and shared services, such as a lounge, dining area and garden.

Care and support

Care and support will be provided to residents in Extra Care housing. The type of help you get will depend on your needs. Some residents will be fairly independent, while others will need more regular help. If your condition changes, or you tend to have good days and bad days, the care you receive should be tailored to this.

The care provided might include help with washing, getting dressed and using the toilet, or reminders to take medication. You may also be able to get help with shopping, laundry or other domestic tasks. The care staff may be commissioned by your local Adult Social Care department, the housing provider or private home care agencies.

Nursing care, such as having wounds dressed, catheter care or being given medication, will not be provided by the care staff in the scheme. If you need nursing care, this may be provided by a community NHS service, such as district nurses.

Who can get Extra Care housing

There are a limited number of Extra Care housing schemes, so you’ll normally need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Privately run schemes are likely to have fewer criteria than council-run schemes. If you are purchasing an Extra Care apartment or bungalow yourself from a private provider, you may only need to meet the age criteria.

If you are looking for a place in a council-run scheme, you will need:

  • to be on your local council's housing register and
  • to have eligible care needs as assessed by your adult social care department.

To find out about being on the housing register, you should contact the housing department of your local council (this is the council that collects your Council Tax, not the County Council).

Details about council-commissioned schemes, for those with eligible care needs, can be found in the section below.

Extra care schemes in Hampshire

Private schemes

Elderly Accommodation Counsel has details of extra care housing schemes in Hampshire. It also offers a self-help tool called HOOP (Housing Options for Older People).  This has been designed to help older people access information on a range of housing-related matters including:

  • Accessing services to help you live safely and well at home
  • Adapting and improving your home to make it suitable for you
  • Exploring the options available if you wish to move

Complete the online questionnaire, marking any concerns you have with your current home, and at the end you will receive personalised suggestions of local services and recommendations for further reading. If you need more support, there is the option to submit your details to EAC to ask for further advice.

If you have an older relative or friend who is unable to access information online, they may wish to speak to an EAC adviser on 0800 377 7070 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Council-commissioned schemes

Find out about Hampshire County Council commissioned schemes if you are eligible to receive care services and are on your local council’s housing register.

Find out about Southampton City Council commissioned schemes.

Find out about Portsmouth City Council commissioned schemes.

Further information

Independent Age have a full fact sheet on Extra care housing which can be read online or printed off.