Vacancies are now available in Northamptonshire for specialist housing which supports independent living for older people – and health and care professionals are being encouraged to refer people they think may be eligible.
‘Extra Care’ housing refers to a group of self-contained homes, often apartments, with special design features and support services to enable people with care needs to keep their independence for longer.
Typically an Extra Care housing scheme will have a care provider on site to meet its residents’ planned or urgent care needs, providing an alternative to residential or domiciliary care. Many also offer regular social activities to promote mental and physical health and wellbeing and reduce isolation.
One such facility is Balmoral Place in Kingsthorpe, Northampton, which has recently opened and has places available for people aged over 55 who are eligible for Northamptonshire County Council-funded social care and support and are also in receipt of housing benefit. Additionally there are places available for people who fund their own care. Apartments are rented and rents can be covered by housing benefit for those who are eligible, or residents can pay for the rent themselves.
Extra Care housing schemes are also an ideal setting for reablement and recovery to help frail older people return home after a hospital stay. A number of these ‘step-down’ apartments are currently being funded by Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, including four at Balmoral Place.
Bernie Lally, strategic commissioning manager for specialist accommodation and prevention for Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Extra Care can support people who may no longer be able to live comfortably in their own, nonspecialist home and can avoid them having to move into residential care settings, therefore helping to maintain their independence.”
Other Extra Care schemes which may also have spaces available across the county include facilities in Upton, Duston, Wellingborough, Rushden and Kettering, with a further development set to open in Kettering in December.
Health and care professionals wishing to make a referral to Extra Care accommodation can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Extra Care and how it can support reablement and care delivery, click here to view a short film.