Extra Care: The Essential Guide (2018) Approaching a certain age, it's common to feel that you need some extra support. Maybe this is due to a medical condition, loneliness, or wanting to be closer to family. In such instances, you can access a range of health and social services, including care in your own home. But maybe you feel it's time for a change. You might want to downsize your house, move into something more modern or simply have access to a community of like-minded individuals. Extra care can provide that option. What Is Extra Care? Extra care usually refers to extra care housing, which is sometimes referred to as sheltered or retirement housing. It can be a very effective form of care which bridges the care needs of individuals who may not feel confident enough to live independently but do not require the level of intervention that residential or nursing homes provide. These self-contained homes are often part of a larger complex for older adults, which can provide assisted and communal living facilities. What Extra Care Services Are There? Domestic and personal care is often provided by on-site staff who are able to cater to individual residents needs, while communal facilities encourage independence in activities of daily living and an active social life. These facilities include anything from laundry provision, gym equipment, hairdressing salons, computer rooms, dining areas, gardens, shops and even spa facilities! What’s more, many of these organisations operate a pet-friendly policy. How Much Does Extra Care Cost? Many older adults are attracted to these self-contained homes, with units often rented, bought or part owned. Separate front doors are commonplace and residents can become legal occupiers of the property. The cost of extra care will vary depending on the complex and your eligibility criteria. Generally, you have to be aged 55 or over and be safe to live alone with some extra support. If you're applying through the local council you will often have to meet strict criteria, so whether you are applying privately or via the council for financial assistance, it's worth getting a care needs assessment. Some complexes add a weekly maintenance service charge and possibly a wellbeing charge to access the skilled healthcare workers on site. With the flexibility and companionship that housing with care provides, it's no surprise that it's becoming a popular option.