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Sheltered accomodation

(41 Posts)
dollie Fri 18-Apr-14 12:25:43

Are there any grans that have downsized from a rented council family home to a rented council sheltered flat? ....i need to downsize due to poor health but the very thought of sheltered isnt very pleasing to me at all....the choice in my area for suitable housing for the over 65s is in very short in supply ...

glammanana Fri 18-Apr-14 12:43:31

dollie we live in a "supported housing development" and it is slightly different to "sheltered housing" whereas we have the facility of a warden visit every day if we feel at a later time in our lives we would benefit from it,we have our own front door but share a communial garden at the rear and private space at the front where I have potted plants and a table with 4 chairs,the system works well as Mr.Glamma has health problems but not serious enough for daily care + if I am away at any time I can ask someone to call if he ever has a problem and the family cannot be contacted,when I am home all week the warden just calls twice a week as a friendly gesture so we do not have that "sheltered feeling" and it does not interfere with our independence in anyway,does your housing association do something similar it may be worth while asking.We are also allowed to have our pet dog Poppy here so we have best of both worlds.

MiniMouse Fri 18-Apr-14 14:52:11

I used to work in the sheltered housing sector and I know how very difficult it can be to make the decision to move into it. An important thing to remember is that you are still independent, you can come and go as you please - a lot of our applicants weren't aware of that and thought of it more in terms of what you would expect in a 'care home'.

When I was there, 'Stay Put' was introduced, which meant that more services were provided as and when needed, so that you didn't need to go through the upheaval of moving again if there were further health issues.

I left that employment years ago, so am not sure what the current schemes have to offer, but things have improved no end in terms of assisting people to retain their independence as long as possible.

We have an Aunt in the NE, who rents a bungalow, council owned, in a supported scheme for residents over the age of 55, but uses Care Call for emergencies. CC are marvellous and react immediately if there's a problem.

Have you had a look round any schemes in your area? It might reassure you if you see what's on offer, especially as they probably all vary.

I can honestly say that, when I was working, I don't remember anyone who regretted moving into sheltered - once they'd come to terms with the fact that the time had come for it to be the best option for them. As with any move, it does take a while to adjust and sometimes going into sheltered takes a little longer than a 'normal' move.

As Glamma has already said, have a word with your housing association, I'm sure they'd point you in the right direction.

Good luck tbusmile

durhamjen Fri 18-Apr-14 20:34:33

Brings back memories. My husband used to design sheltered accommodation for companies like Anchor and Hanover Housing.
We always said we would move in when we had to, but take our time finding the right place.
We did like the Joseph Rowntree scheme at York, but he was too ill to be considered by the time we realised. If you think you need it, go for it now. We know people in Hartrigg Oaks, who love living there.

rosequartz Fri 18-Apr-14 21:00:59

Dollie, we haven't but I know a couple of people who have and they seem happy.

In fact, they both moved from their own properties to council-run sheltered accommodation..

durhamjen Fri 18-Apr-14 21:06:12

Durham Council has just decided to close down all its council run homes.
I think it's all housing association from now on.

Humbertbear Fri 18-Apr-14 21:14:01

My mother has lived in charity-run sheltered housing for 15 years. There are social activities if she wants them (she doesn't) and they take her shopping every week. There is a cafe where she can have lunch and she has made many friends. The best thing is that if the boiler packs up, a light bulb goes or the shower leaks, their is someone to come and fix it giving her, and us, confidence.

dollie Sat 19-Apr-14 09:44:22

Thanks for your views ...i did phone my council to glean more information but they weren't forthcoming at all...they basically told me to bid for the property if i were interested and then ask the questions..( although council run a lot of decisions are made by the scheme manager) the council couldnt even tell me if pets were allowed...

On reflection ive decided that sheltered isnt for me just yet ...

Lona Sat 19-Apr-14 09:56:58

My parents moved into a council rented sheltered bungalow when they were in their late sixties. It was just like glamma's description and it worked really well.
The wardens were once a week until my mum died and then they kept an eye on my dad. When he started to have falls and need care, they were wonderful. If something broke or the toilet blocked for instance, they got it sorted far quicker than I could, and they would ring me and tell me if there was a problem.
I think it's a great system, just don't leave it too late.

Elegran Sat 19-Apr-14 10:06:00

Dolliue Can you contact the scheme manager? Bidding first and asking questions later is ridiculous! You wouldn't buy or rent any other house like that, even a self-catering house for a week.

dollie Sat 19-Apr-14 10:26:02

No I'm not allowed to elegran or i would....also if i bid for the property and then refused it that would go against me and move me down the list!!! So i have to be 100% sure of the property i want to move to.... This bidding system stinks and theres so many obstacles put in the way....ive had no help from local council...councillors ....local m.p. And social housing minister in parliament ...they moan at the older person not moving out a family home and stopping young families moving in but theres no where for us to go...i was expected to move into a block of flats ( general needs) where there are young families etc and I'm refusing to do so...theres that and sheltered and thats it ...the bungalows in my area are in very short I'm stuck in a large 3 bed house on my own!!! Its absolutely crazy!!!

Elegran Sat 19-Apr-14 10:34:50

Is there anything on your local authority website about their sheltered housing?

Do you know anyone who is already living there?

Can you go there and walk around a bit until you find someone gardening and strike up a conversation with them so that you can ask them all the things that no-one will tell you?

They expect you to buy a pig in a poke! How on earth can you not be allowed to ask questions about your future home!

dollie Sat 19-Apr-14 10:47:06

Ive had several rows with the council over this and its a waste of time....the other month a bungalow came up and i phoned to ask which end of the lane it was ( they dont give you numbers of the property in case you go round to look) and they refused to tell me! I even explained that i needed to know because if it were at the roundabout end it would be too far for me to walk into the village!!!! And there would be no point in bidding....They still wouldn't tell me so i didnt put a bid in...ive bid on a few properties over the last 4 years and not once have i even got on the short list!!!!

I cant tell you how much stress this has had on my health i feel I'm living in limbo!!!!

Elegran Sat 19-Apr-14 11:15:37

Which council is it?

Elegran Sat 19-Apr-14 11:23:09

If the mountain will not come to you, you will have to go to the mountain.

Can you physically go there and speak to a resident face to face? If not, you will have to be devious.

In your local library you can ask to see the electoral roll, listed by streets. Go and look at it, find the name of someone who is actually living in one of these sheltered houses and write to them to ask all the general questions that you can't get answered, explaining as you have here that you are getting nowhere with the council.

Once they have answered (older people in general are more polite than younger ones and more likely to write back) keep up the correspondence and ask them to let you know when one comes vacant. Then you will know what you are bidding on.

And keep up the pressure on MPs and the social work department to provide more sheltered housing and to tell tenants more it.

glammanana Sat 19-Apr-14 11:26:06

dollie It does seem to me that your Housing Assocciation is very unhelpful indeed,here on The Wirral we have what is called a "One stop Shop" where you can go to get more indepth information and on the website advertising the properties they show a picture of the exterior of the property so you can see where about it is situated.Have you tried going to see your MP at one of their weekly/monthly surgeries and making them listen to what you have to say ? surely the Council would want a property to rehouse a family with the length of the waiting lists it's just common sense isn't it.

Mishap Sat 19-Apr-14 11:32:11

No-one can move somewhere without knowing where they are going! - it is barmy! Which council is this? Speak to your MP and explain how mad the system is.

dollie Sat 19-Apr-14 13:15:41

Already have spoken to my local m.p. on several occasions and its not done any good at all...he has even written to my local housing officer on my behalf...ive written twice to the social housing minister and both times been told to contact my local council as councils vary in the way they run things...

Not easy getting to the the mountain as the council will not allow you to make contact with neighbouring properties to make enquiries and by doing so could jeapodise my bidding for future properties...

Elegran Sat 19-Apr-14 13:18:03

Citizen's Advice Bureau? Social Work Department? A lawyer even! You can't make a decision with no evidence.

Which council is it?

dollie Sun 20-Apr-14 20:00:55

Have managed to obtain the phone number of the scheme manager so will phone her on Tuesday ...

Elegran Sun 20-Apr-14 21:16:19


NfkDumpling Sun 20-Apr-14 21:36:20

Are there any charity run sheltered schemes in your area? (We have some good ones which are church supported in our area.). If you can visit a non council (housing association) scheme they may well be able to give generic advice. Or the CAB. They often have specialist advisers who can help.

When my mother was looking into sheltered accommodation we just called in at different schemes and asked what the place was like from whoever we bumped into, sometimes a resident, occasionally the warden. We found out a lot that way. Just by general chatting.

If you do bid for another place, can you include a letter from your doctor? When I worked for a housing association that often helped.

dollie Mon 21-Apr-14 07:08:20

I cant afford private rental as its double what I'm paying i get a small private pension i cant claim any benefits...i live in a village so the choice is very poor and i do not want to move outside the area as everything here is central to my needs..

Yes the council have a letter from my doctor and i have been given catagory 3 disability by the council ( the highest is 1 the lowest 3)

My older daughter used to work for a different council and she told me that the social housing has gone to pot!!! And of course its got worse since this so called ' bedroom tax' was brought in...

Vesper Mon 21-Apr-14 14:48:27

Dollie, you have got a miserable council!

You write as if your only choice is the housing provided by the local council. Most areas have Housing Associations of some kind operating. Some of them have 95-100% housing for the council (so effectively the same) but some have other avenues: specialist housing for disabilities, elderly etc as described above, and some (where I used to live) for "long term residents of the area".
However, I know some areas have nothing like that.

The next people I would try contacting are your local AgeUK or similar & I would also try CAB. They would know of any alternatives.
What they may also be able to help you with is housing benefit, or other entitlements.

It is complicated and individual, but IF the most suitable accommodation is privately rented (which includes some types of Housing Association, just to confuse!) you may be entitled to help with the rent, depending on your total income, how much of the "rent" is classified as "care" of some kind, what your nursing / care needs are etc.etc. I often find that local organisations know exactly which boxes to tick and what words to use to enable things to happen.
Apologies if you have already gone down this route.

I do hope you get something sorted, your post just shows how "big ideas" often don't work out in detail!

dollie Tue 22-Apr-14 09:39:41

Yes vesper i do have a miserable council...yes i know there are other accommodations available ( not in my area) but i cant afford the high cost of the rents as i said previously they are double what I'm paying now and I'm not entitled to and help financially due to my late husbands private pension... Ive been down every route conceivable....

I have managed to glean more info about this flat thats available and i have put in a bid ( councils new system ) hopefully i will hear by the end of next week if ive been successful for a viewing where i have a nice long list of questions lol......thing is i will be no doubt be one of at least a hundred bidders for the same property!!!!!