This page offers practical tips and information to help you if you need to find sheltered accommodation after a stroke.
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If you need some support but not 24-hour care, sheltered housing may be an option for you. Sheltered housing can help you live independently with the added security that there is someone nearby to call in an emergency. This type of accommodation is usually for people over 60 but can be available for younger people. It is provided by local councils, housing associations (registered social landlords) and voluntary organisations. Private companies also run a small number of schemes. You can usually rent or buy sheltered housing.
These schemes usually have a warden or scheme manager who lives on site or nearby. Their responsibilities will usually include managing the day-to-day running of the scheme, checking on residents' wellbeing, giving residents information on local services and helping with emergencies. They are not there to provide personal services, such as care, or help with shopping, cooking and cleaning, but they may be able to help you arrange these services.
The schemes generally consist of groups of flats or rooms to give you privacy and communal areas shared with other residents. They usually welcome individuals or couples. You can contact your local council's housing or social services department to find out more about sheltered housing in your area.
Extra care sheltered housing
This is a type of sheltered housing where residents are provided with extra care and support. The scheme may have staff to help with personal care such as bathing and dressing. Ask your local council if there are any of these schemes in your area.
Choosing sheltered housing: checklist
It may help to visit the housing, ask questions and see for yourself what it is like. You may find it helpful to ask some of these questions. You can download a copy and print this checklist here.
- Location - Is the scheme in a suitable location, which is easy to get to? Will you be near family and friends in a familiar area? Are there local amenities and shops nearby?
- Is there adequate local public transport available? If you drive, is there somewhere to park your car?
- Accommodation - What is the accommodation like? Is there enough space? Does the layout suit your needs? What kind of heating system is provided and is it well insulated?
- Costs - How much will you have to pay in rent or mortgage payments? How much will you be paying for council tax, insurance and bills? Are there service charges to pay for the warden, alarm system and upkeep of communal areas and how are these worked out? If you live in extra care housing, will there be charges for the care support provided? You may still be entitled to financial support, such as benefits. See our benefits and financial assistance page for more information.
- Facilities - Are shared facilities such as laundry areas available?
- Accessibility - Is there a lift? If you use a wheelchair are the door frames and corridors wide enough? Would you be able to make adaptations if necessary, such as adding a handrail?
- Services - Are services, such as community nurses, part of the scheme?
- Storage - Is there somewhere to store equipment like a wheelchair or mobility scooter?
- Security - How secure is the main entrance and each home?
- Alarms - Sheltered housing usually includes an alarm system for residents to use if they need emergency help. Find out how this works and what action will be taken if you need to use it.
- Atmosphere - See what the atmosphere is like and whether other residents enjoy living there.
- Management - The warden or scheme manager's duties will vary for each scheme. Find out what their duties are, whether they provide 24-hour support and live onsite.
- Maintenance - Who is responsible for repairs and improvements?
- Decisions - Will you have the opportunity to be involved in decisions that affect you?
- Social life - Will friends be able to visit? Will there be opportunities to socialise with other residents? Are social activities organised?
- Cultural and religious needs - Will these be met?
- Pets - If you have a pet, find out whether the scheme allows them.
- Visitors - Is there a guest room?