Looking for care homes or supported/sheltered living?

Is a care home, extra care or supported living right for you?

Housing is often a matter of personal choice with individuals having different needs.  If it's difficult to manage living at home, there are ways you can get help.  There are lots of possibilities to explore here and many places you can get advice and more information from.

West Berkshire Council want to support people to stay well, safe and independent in their own homes.  However, there may come a point when staying at home is no longer the best option.   For some people, supported housing or extra care housing can be good choices that can help them stay as independent as possible.  Alternatively, West Berkshire Council’s ‘Shared Lives’ scheme  may be suitable helping you to live independently in the community whilst being supported by a shared lives carer. Helpful information can be found on their webpage.

Mental Health Supported Accommodation

For West Berkshire residents suffering Severe & Enduring Mental Health issues Sovereign Housing and Richmond Fellowship offer supported living accommodation.

VACANCIES - View the list of current vacancies from the downloads tab.

Is home ownership for you?

HOLD - Home ownership for people with long-term disabilities.  If you have a long-term disability, the HOLD scheme in England could help you buy any home for sale on a shared ownership basis (part-rent/part-buy). You could buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share.

You can only apply for the HOLD scheme if the homes available in the other shared ownership schemes don’t meet your needs, eg you need a ground-floor home.

Older people's shared ownership. It works in the same way as the general Shared Ownership scheme, but you can only buy up to 75% of your home. Once you own 75% you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining share.


Housing Options for Older People (HOOP)

People struggle to make the right housing choices in later life.  HOOP is an online tool which will help you identify the most important difficulties and offers suggestions for dealing with them.  You can also speak with an advisor.


What is Supported Living accommodation?

If you need a little more support to cope at home supported living accommodation may be the best option for you. This means living as a home owner or as a tenant.  Some supported living homes or flats are shared by 2 or more people with particular disabilities or needs, like people with mental health problems or learning disabilities.  In a supported living service you will have your individual support and care plan that will specify how you will be helped to live independently.  Properties are suitably adapted, you will have your own bedroom but sometimes you may share a kitchen and bathroom.

Why choose supported living?

Supported living is designed to help disabled people, who are eligible, to live independently in their local community.  Support is focused on helping you to increase and/or maintain your independent living skills at their maximum level.  Supported Living is appropriate for you if you want or need to live on your own or to share with others.  You have to share the responsibilities with housemates like cooking, cleaning and paying the bills.  In supported living accommodation the housing provider and support provider are separate.

To give you an idea of the types of property that become available, look at the attached 'DOWNLOADS' document called 'Examples of properties which sometimes become available from Sovereign Housing'.

What do I do if I am interested and want to know more?

If you would like to see if supported living is right for you, West Berkshire Council’s Adult Locality teams will need to carry out an assessment of your needs to see if you are eligible. Contact Adult Social Care on 01635 503050 or use our online Adult Social Care Enquiry form to request information and advice for yourself, or on behalf of someone else.


Supporting you through the assessment

If you are unable to tell us what you need, have communication difficulties or have no-one else to support you we will arrange an independent advocate to help you through the process and share your views.

After the assessment we will identify and agree your needs with you and discuss the help and support available to meet them, according to your specific situation.

Who pays for this service?

West Berkshire Council will only pay for supported living for those who have been assessed as eligible for services under the 2014 Care Act. You will have a financial assessment to decide how much you can pay towards the cost of this provision.

What is sheltered accommodation?

Sheltered housing, sometimes called retirement housing, is specifically designed for older people.  Schemes have a communal lounge and garden areas for socialising, activities and events.  There are various types of sheltered housing schemes to rent in West Berkshire.

The accommodation usually consists of self-contained flats or bungalows, each with it's own front door. There will also be a scheme manager (warden) but not necessarily on site, 24-hour emergency help is provided through an alarm system.

Sheltered housing schemes are generally owned, run and maintained as social housing by a housing association.  Sometimes properties are available to buy.  The support offered in sheltered housing is relatively low-level. 

People over 55 can apply directly for sheltered housing.

Where necessary sheltered accommodation residents can be supported with care packages arranged either privately or through Adult Social Care. If you have care needs and require a social care assessment of needs you should contact West Berkshire Council's Adult Social Care team on 01635 503050 or complete the online Adult Social Care Enquiry form to request information and advice for yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

Click here for further information regarding arranging an assessment.

To apply for a property from a housing association you will need be on The Common Housing Register (Homechoice) for West Berkshire.


What is Extra Care Housing?

Extra care housing is similar to sheltered housing in that the accommodation usually consists of individual, self-contained properties, each with its own front door.

The difference is that the level of personal care available is much higher and can be arranged according to individual needs.  Care can include things like domestic support, help with meals, as well as opportunities for a range of social and leisure activities.

Extra care can be a good option if you need the security having care staff on-site 24 hours a day but do not want to lose the independence of living in your own home.

Click here for further information on local schemes.

Who can apply?

To apply, you'll need to have:

  • a social care need
  • a social housing need
  • and a local connection to the West Berkshire Council area.

To apply for a property from a housing association you will need be on The Common Housing Register  (HomeChoice) for West Berkshire.


If you wish to purchase privately

Visit the Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) HousingCare website which lists extra care housing available to buy across the UK.


What is the difference between nursing, care and residential homes?

A residential home is somewhere you can receive 24 hour personal care and support. There are always trained staff available and support is often tailored to your needs. Often residents are given the opportunity to take part in activities and can be more relaxed when it comes to meal times and bed times.

A care/nursing home is similar to a residential home, but it offers 24 hour support from a registered nurse. These homes are often more suited to those with long term conditions that require extra care from a trained medical professional.

Some care homes provide both residential and nursing support. These are known as 'dual-registered' homes.  The advantage of these homes is that if your needs increase you can continue to receive the right level of care without having to move again.

It's important to find a care home that's right for you or right for the person who's going to live there. You should always visit the care homes you're considering before making a final choice. Consider completing Age UK's checklist of ‘important things to ask the staff’.

The NHS also offer good advice about choosing the right care home.

All care homes must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England.  They regularly inspect homes to make sure they are meeting national standards.  You can ask to see the care home's inspection report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

You may also be interested in Healthwatch West Berkshire, an independent organisation which champions the views of patients and social care users across West Berkshire.

What is shared lives?

The Shared Lives scheme enables adults to live independently in the community whilst being in the supportive environment of a family home.  The Scheme is for vulnerable adults, male and female, aged 18 years and over, with a learning disability or with a mental health issue, older people, care leavers, disabled children becoming young adults, parents with learning disabilities and their children, people who misuse substances and (ex-)offenders.  If you are eligible following an assessment, you may be offered somewhere to stay for a short break or somewhere to live for a longer period.

You can choose to live with the family permanently, or you can go to stay with them for overnight short breaks, or just visit for a few hours per week.

Click here to visit West Berkshire Council's Adult Placement  - Shared Lives webpage or call the team on 01635 520184


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