Before making a bigger scale decision like moving into a care home, there are several options for you and your elderly relatives to consider if they are finding it harder to live independently at home. Situations can change in time, such as the loss of a partner or mobility difficulties, so Age Space has laid out the following guide to help with maintaining independent living in Hampshire.
We also recommend you check out our page on Safer Independent living in Hampshire, which takes a wider look at mobility aids, assistive technology and other available services.
Downsizing in Hampshire
Downsizing can remove some of the more difficult struggles that come with living in a large, family home including gardening, stairs, cleaning and maintenance. Moving to a smaller home can also be financially beneficial in freeing up capital for future care needs.
When planning a move, it is important to think in the long term and consider access to care, transport links, closeness to family and friends and local social activities. Our Guide on Choosing a Care Home in Hampshire includes an overview of the major towns in Hampshire and their appeals.
If your elderly relative is still healthy and mobile, downsizing is the first of the independent living options to consider. For more general tips on downsizing visit our page on the main Age Space site.
When planning a move for your elderly relative, you should consider local access to healthcare services. You can use our overview of Elderly Care Services in Hampshire to find out the provision of healthcare in each area, including finding the nearest GP.
The availability and accessibility of transport services is an important factor to consider when your elderly relative is moving to a new area. This is especially essential if your relative is no longer fit to drive.
Traveline South West is an online resource enabling you to plan bus journeys from A to B in Hampshire, and to see how quick and easy a potential trip is.
Age Space also has two guides for you to take a look out when thinking about elderly transport around Hampshire:
Home Care Services in Hampshire
Finding a suitable home care provider for your relative can often make a huge difference your elderly relative’s life and keep them living in the independence of their own home for longer. Home care services can help with some of the daily household tasks that may become more of a struggle, such as cleaning, cooking and washing up, or assist your relative with getting up and starting their day.
You can follow the links below to Age Space’s Home Care Directories for Hampshire and other local areas to explore the wealth of options available across the county.
Sheltered Housing in Hampshire
Sheltered Housing is accommodation specifically designed for older people that will allow them to live independently, but with some additional safety measures in place. Accommodation usually consists of self-contained flats with shared, communal facilities. Some other common features of Sheltered Housing include:
- Help form a scheme manager (warden) or support staff
- 24 hour emergency help through an alarm system
- Communal areas, such as gardens or lounges
- Social activities for residents
Before applying to a sheltered housing scheme, your relative will most likely need to undergo a care needs assessment. This is to ensure that the accommodation is able to effectively facilitate their individual needs. For more information on this, it is worth taking a look at Age Space’s guide to getting a Care Needs Assessment in Hampshire.
Sheltered housing can be bought, rented privately, or provided by a local authority, subject to eligibility. To find out more about local authority funded sheltered housing, click on your local council below:
Alternatively you can search for private sheltered housing in Hampshire using Housing Care. The directory provides information on services available and costs, which you can filter based on your preferences.
Hampshire Retirement Homes
If your relative requires closer watching or may benefit from a more communal feel, a retirement home might be a good option for them. Instead of separate housing, retirement homes offer the chance to rent or buy a room or apartment within a complex or building. Retirement homes differ from nursing homes in the level of nursing care that is available to residents.
You can search for retirement homes in Hampshire using Housing Care and refining your search based on location, services available and costs.
Take a look at Age Space’s guide to Finding a Care Home in Hampshire for more advice on going about choosing a suitable care home for your relative.