If it is no longer an option for your parent to live in their current home safely, then it may be time to think about different living options. The first thing you can do is to consider ways of safer independent living in Buckinghamshire – which include specific services and products that can help make home life a little safer. The next thing to think about is whether you can add home adaptations to make daily tasks easier and safer. Finally, just short of moving into a care home, options like the ones covered in this guide might be worth considering to allow your relatives to continue living independently in Buckinghamshire.
There are a few benefits for older people when it comes to downsizing to a smaller home. Firstly, it is an opportunity to move to a more suitable location, whether than be nearer to you or into a smaller, older community. Often, older people decide to move into bungalows to pre-empt a reduction in mobility, but a smaller house also means less cleaning and maintenance – making more time for relaxing! Downsizing usually frees up some capital which is useful when considering inheritance or future care costs.
You can use our guide to choosing a care home in Buckinghamshire to help provide a brief overview of the different options available in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes – useful when researching places to move to!
Local Transport Links
When choosing a location for your relatives’ new home, it’s even more important than usual to research the quality and variety of transport links, as our elderly relatives won’t be driving forever. In addition to public transport; community transport and patient transport services are both important and useful to know about.
Sheltered Housing and Retirement Homes in Buckinghamshire
Sheltered housing and retirement homes offer a bit more safety and security without taking away any of the freedom and independence that they are used to. For carers, it means that you don’t need to be living in the same house to be assured of their wellbeing, as onsite managers can regularly check up on them.
Sheltered housing and retirement housing are practically the same, the main difference being that retirement housing is only for those older than 60. In both, the older person rents a small, self-contained property that is one in a group of many similar properties. These sets of homes usually share communal spaces and an on-site buildings manager. This manager takes care of repairs and maintenance so your elderly relatives don’t have to, as well as checking in daily that everything is okay with their residents.
These homes are different to care and nursing homes as no one on-site will be trained in care – so these homes are not suitable if your parent has medical needs.
Where to look
Bucks Home Choice is Buckinghamshire Council’s social housing scheme for the area. To access the Home Choices scheme and view the housing options available, you will need to register your elderly relative. Once registered, you’ll be able to see upcoming properties that are available to bid on, which includes retirement and sheltered housing options.
By their own admission, Bucks Home Choice has a limited selection of housing options open at any one time. This is because of the high demand in Buckinghamshire. You can find out about more council options and local private options through Buckinghamshire Council’s Housing Choices for Older People page.
For those in Milton Keynes, there are more council-offered options to choose from. Milton Keynes Council’s Sheltered Housing has a range of self-contained properties; including one and two bedroom flats, bungalows and studio flats. All of these schemes are supported by a Sheltered Housing Officer who offers a daily visit to each tenant, alongside the ability to take advantage of personal alarms and Telecare to provide an independent, but safe housing option for your elderly relative.
Find out more about the Milton Keynes Council Sheltered Housing Scheme.
If there are few or no options for sheltered housing, retirement homes or retirement villages in your area, you will have to search for accommodation privately. The major directory for researching alternative housing options for elderly people is HousingCare. In addition to some other options, we have included links to HousingCare searches for retirement housing in each area within Buckinghamshire:
Extra Care Housing
As the name suggests, Extra Care housing offers another level on top of normal sheltered housing schemes. Extra Care housing offers on-site, medical and personal care to its residents. The services that can be offered differ based on needs and between each scheme. Extra Care housing is often cheaper than care and nursing homes, as it also includes full time medical care and meals.
Extra Care facilities usually require potential residents to have undertaken a full care needs assessment in Buckinghamshire, to make sure that they can accommodate their needs.
Extra Care housing can be very limited, but there are facilities throughout Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
For those in Buckinghamshire, there are 48 Extra Care housing units in Buckinghamshire through a partnership with Riverside ECHG and a further 28 flats in Aylesbury in their purpose built, ‘The Elms’ housing unit.
For more information visit the Buckinghamshire Council website.
In Milton Keynes there are three sheltered housing schemes that have been enhanced to also provide care. These schemes offer specialised assistance in addition to the 24 hour-accessible wellbeing monitoring. There are 2 schemes for those with dementia (Courtney’s Lodge and Flowers House) and 1 for more frail elderly people (Kilkenny House).
Find more about Extra Care in Milton Keynes.