Extra care housing

What is Extra Care housing

Extra care housing is designed for people who need some extra help to look after themselves, but not at the level provided by residential care homes. People living in extra care housing enjoy the freedom and independence of having their own front door, with the reassurance that care staff are available.

The type of care and housing offered will vary from scheme to scheme. Care staff will usually be on call 24 hours a day, to provide personal care as and when you need it. Personal care includes things like washing and dressing, but not medical care that would need to be provided by a qualified nurse.

Extra care accommodation can be provided by a local council, a housing association or a private company. You can rent, buy, or part-own it, either by yourself or as a couple.

Key features of Extra Care housing

  • Residents are usually aged 55 or over and are able to live safely on their own with some support.
  • The accommodation consists of self-contained adapted flats or bungalows.
  • Care and support staff are available up to 24 hours a day, often based on site, and provide personal care and domestic support such as cleaning and laundry services.
  • Emergency alarms are placed throughout the properties and site so residents can call for help, day or night.
  • There are some communal facilities and shared services, such as a lounge, dining area and garden.

Care and support

Care and support will be provided to residents in extra care housing. The type of help you get will depend on your needs. Some residents will be fairly independent, while others will need more regular help. If your condition changes, or you tend to have good days and bad days, the care you receive should be tailored to this.

The care provided might include help with washing, getting dressed and using the toilet, or reminders to take medication. You may also be able to get help with shopping, laundry or other domestic tasks. The care staff may be commissioned by the local Adult Social Care department, the housing provider or private home care agencies.

Nursing care, such as having wounds dressed, catheter care or being given medication, will not be provided by the care staff in the scheme. If you need nursing care, this may be provided by a community NHS service, such as district nurses.

Who can get Extra Care housing

There are a limited number of extra care housing schemes, so you’ll normally need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Privately-run schemes are likely to have fewer criteria than council-run schemes. If you are purchasing an Extra Care apartment or bungalow yourself from a private provider, you may only need to meet the age criteria.

If you are looking for a place in a council-run scheme, you will need to be on your local council's housing register and to have assessed care needs. See Hampshire County Council's Extra Care leaflet.

For more information, you should contact the housing department of your local council (this is the Council that collects your Council Tax, not the County Council).

Extra care schemes in Hampshire

Contact your local council's housing department. 

Alternatively, use the Elderly Accommodation Counsel website to search for schemes in your area.

Further information

Independent Age produce a full fact sheet on Extra care housing which can be read online or printed off.

Last reviewed: 26/07/2017