Sheltered Housing Overview

What is sheltered housing?

"Sheltered Housing" is a term used to describe a group of self-contained flats and bungalows specifically designed for older people. Normally you will need to be of retirement age, normally 65 years of age but, in exceptional circumstances, younger people with a disability can also be housed in these schemes.

Sheltered housing is a specialised type of accommodation and service which enables older people to continue enjoying life in the community as independently as possible, with the benefit of friendship, support and communal facilities. There is also an alarm call system, which allows residents to contact help if there is an emergency.

Residents of sheltered developments are expected to be capable of independent living and are responsible for their own care. Tenants still need support from relatives and friends. The Warden cannot provide this as they have responsibility for the whole sheltered housing complex.

Difference between Sheltered and Residential Housing

For clarity, there is a major difference between Sheltered Accommodation, available for the fit and active elderly whose health at application and allocation is being affected by their current accommodation; and Nursing/Residential Accommodation, which provides a nursing service on a twenty-four hour basis. The Commissioners wish to emphasize that they are unable to provide anything akin to 'Nursing' cover in sheltered accommodation, and that their staff are not permitted to administer medication, or to pick persons up in the event of a fall or collapse.

Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator

The Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator provides cover for both sheltered housing schemes located at Heywood Court and Springfield Court. At times when the Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator is not on duty, cover is provided by the alarm system connected to a Care Phone provider.

Part of the Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator's role is to be aware of the health and general well-being of the residents. The Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator when on duty will make contact with a resident to check that everything is all right and where necessary, in cases of emergency or sickness, contact relatives, Doctors or other services. Each property is connected by an "intercom" system to the Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator or Care Phone provider allowing 2 way speech.

Wardens duties include:-

• Day to day management of the complex.
• Administration

• Direct support by contacting all tenants once a day, Monday to Friday, and
• To help tenants live independent lives
• To be aware of tenants' individual needs and arrange help if required
• To welcome new tenants
• To deal with emergencies
• To establish good links with the community for the benefit of tenants

In addition to the duties outlined above, Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator's are able to liaise with other parties and agencies in order to provide a better service to the residents.

The concept of Sheltered Accommodation is now clearly established, with a proven track record. However, there can be a misconception of exactly what such provision is meant to deliver, by prospective or current residents, or occasionally, the families of residents and some of our Medical and Social Services.

The Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator will not undertake the day to day care of individual residents. This must be provided by relatives, friends or other appropriate services. Residents of these schemes should therefore be independent and able to care for themselves in their own homes.

Emergency Alarm System

An emergency alarm system is provided in each sheltered scheme giving two-way speech communication. Pulling a cord will automatically alert the Warden or the care phone provider 24 hours a day. The alarm system is there to summon help in an emergency. Should it be set off by accident the Warden or operator will check all is well and then re-set the system. Using the system for routine enquiries could prevent a genuine emergency from receiving immediate assistance.

Should tenants be away from home either overnight or on holiday, they are asked to inform the Warden. This will avoid causing concern and save time should an emergency arise.

Your current accommodation

If the problems relating to your current accommodation are financial, you should contact the Department of Social Care to check that you are receiving all the help and assistance which is available in the circumstances.  It may be that a problem with your current accommodation that could be resolved by an approach to the Occupational Therapy team through your General Practitioner.

Sheltered Housing Application

All accommodation is made available subject to the applicant having a medical need for sheltered accommodation, but is physically able to care for themselves, albeit with the assistance of such welfare services as are provided for the general public.  The medical need must be made worse by the accommodation in which the applicant is currently living, and proof of this together with suitability for sheltered accommodation may be sought by the Commissioners prior to allocation.   Please see Sheltered Housing Application Section for details of applying. Criteria for Sheltered Housing

Deteriorating Health

You should be aware on application that should your medical condition deteriorate so that you are unable to cope alone with the difficulties of ill-health, the Commissioners reserve the right to review the tenancy agreement in the light of their duties and administrative responsibilities, together with your personal circumstances.   If your medical condition deteriorates to such an extent that the Commissioners feel sheltered accommodation is no longer suitable for you, then we will work with you and your health care professionals to seek an appropriate solution.

The Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator will:
• Maintain regular contact will all tenants either in person or via telephone/intercom.
• Respond to the emergency alarm system, call for necessary assistance and notify relatives.
• Contact the resident's listed next of kin and/or support agency if there is reason for concern.
• Introduce new residents to the sheltered scheme, outlining the facilities and services available locally.
• Assist with social events where applicable and encourage tenant participation in communal activities both within and outside the sheltered scheme.
• Be responsible for the day to day administration and maintenance of the Complex.

The Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator will NOT:
• Enter a tenant's home without permission unless there is an emergency.
• Administer drugs or medication of any kind, except in extreme circumstances.
• Clean, cook or shop for tenants.
• Nurse, bathe or assist to bathe any tenant.
• Lift any tenant should they have a fall.
• Handle a tenant's financial affairs.
• Arrange removals, connections or disconnections of gas/electric services.
• Transport a tenant for a hospital or doctor's appointment.