Living Independently in Norfolk – A Guide to Options Available

Living Independently in Norfolk – A Guide to Options Available

Living independently gets more and more difficult as we get older. We can find our eyesight and hearing dampening, our mobility suffering and we can easily lose track of everyday objects, like our keys.

Moving into a residential care home can seem like a big step and luckily, it doesn’t always have to be the next one. There are plenty of alternative, independent living options across Norfolk that can be considered first.

Sheltered Housing Options in Sussex

In many cases, your elderly relative may still be able to remain in their own home when some minor adjustments have been made. It’s worth taking a look into Age Space’s pages on Safer Independent Living in Norfolk and Funding Home Adaptations in Norfolk for advice on this.

Getting Help from the EAC

The Elderly Accommodation Council (EAC) is a national charity that aims to help elderly people make informed choices about meeting their housing care needs.

On their site, you can find their Housing Options for Older People (HOOP) Tool, which is a questionnaire designed to establish the issues that your relative might be facing and offer advice or direct you to specific support services based on the results. This could mean signposting you towards local home adaptation services or sheltered housing options in your local area.

Downsizing in Norfolk

One of the earliest routes people may explore when trying to improve living independence at home is downsizing, meaning, moving to a smaller and more suitable house.
On one hand, this move will free up capital for future care needs, but on the other, it can also make day-to-day living easier, with less housework to do and the removal of stairs. It also acts as an opportunity for your relative to move to a more suitable location, whether that be closes to shops, transport links, a GP or even family, such as yourself.
Norfolk Living Independently Downsizing

Transport Links

There comes a point when getting around is a little more difficult and elderly people won’t feel able to drive anymore. Ensuring that your relative has accessible public transport links is incredibly important to make sure they don’t feel isolated and overly dependent.

For up to date bus travel information, you can visit Norfolk County Council’s page on Bus Timetables & Operators. This will help to plan journeys and see what routes are available for you locally.

You can also follow the links below for Age Space’s guide on Community Transport Services and Patient Transport Services in Norfolk.

  • Local Community Transport in Norfolk
  • Patient Transport Services in Norfolk

For further downsizing advice, you can also take a look at Age Space’s dedicated Tips for Helping Elderly Parents Downsize page.

Home Care Services in Norfolk

Another great way of helping your elderly relatives to maintain independence in their own home can be to look into home care services in Norfolk. They can provide support with tasks around the house, like cooking, washing up and cleaning, as well as helping your relative with getting up and on with their day in the morning .

You can take a look at Age Space’s Home Care Directory for Norfolk, as well as those for the surrounding areas to find available options.

Sheltered Housing in Norfolk

Sheltered Housing is a great option for maintaining an older person’s independence and freedom, but with the addition of regular check-ups and care assistance. This allows their family and friends to have more peace of mind regarding their welfare at all times. 

People who are over 60 years of age are able to buy and rent houses or flats within dedicated, self-contained areas that have communal facilities. They are regularly visited (often daily) by a ‘scheme manager’ who will advise residents, ensure communal areas are well kept and arrange any necessary maintenance.

Sheltered Housing also usually has a 24-hour emergency alarm system for residents to use if they need immediate assistance, for example a fall or other injury.

Residents will have to pay service charges on top of their usual bills, which can be a major downside for many, so should be carefully weighed up against the positives of the care provided. This will not include medical or personal care.

Most of the individual district councils in Norfolk have their own specific housing schemes laid out on their website. Follow the link below to whichever suits your own locality:

If your local district council is not listed (Breckland, North Norfolk, South Norfolk), or for more options, you can visit Norfolk County Council’s Housing With Care site for detailed information on sheltered accommodation options across the county.

Norfolk Retirement Homes

Retirement Homes’ primary difference from Sheltered Housing is that they are intended exclusively for older people. They still won’t have any care facilities included, but have an estate manager to deal with any maintenance and upkeep.

The facilities will vary a fair amount depending on how much you are willing to spend, should you choose to go privately. Some schemes will even have more luxurious, communal facilities available, such as swimming pools, restaurants or large gardens on the property.

Elderly Day Care Centres in Broadland

When you begin looking into renting a retirement home, there can be some confusing terminology regarding the lease length. Usually, retirement housing can be offered under a lease length of 99 years. This is simply to ensure that an elderly person will never have to worry about moving again before they need or choose to.

Properties within retirement homes can be easily found through sites such as RightMove, HousingCare, and Retirement Homes Search.

Extra Care Housing

In the event that your relative requires more care, but still wishes to maintain their independence instead of looking at residential or nursing care homes, Extra Care Housing can be a suitable option.

These schemes are largely similar to sheltered housing and retirement homes, but with on-site care support staff and domestic services.

For access to Extra Care Housing, the elderly person in question will need to take a care needs assessment in Norfolk to both establish their eligibility and suitability. Equally, they must also have a housing need, meaning their current residence is no longer suitable.

Although having the possibility of being beneficial, it should be noted that Extra Care Housing can be extremely hard to access with limited spaces available. Your relative could easily have care needs that are too high or too low. Service charges are also significantly more expensive than with other available schemes

For Extra Care Housing options in Norfolk, you can search using Housing Care’s advanced search features or look on