Living Independently in Suffolk – A Guide to Options Available

Living Independently in Suffolk – A Guide to Options Available

If your elderly parent is starting to struggle to live independently at home and is requiring more help to do so, but they either don’t need or don’t want to move into a care home – there are some middle-ground, independent living options to consider.

Age Space has collected together some alternatives to allow your relatives to live independently for longer in Suffolk. We also recommend you check out our page on Safer Independent living in Suffolk.

Downsizing in Suffolk

Downsizing in Suffolk as one of the  independent living options

Downsizing allows for the freedom of independent living, while removing some of the more difficult daily struggles that come with living in a larger home like gardening, stairs, cleaning and transport.

Moving can also be an opportunity to free up capital for future care needs and offers a chance to move closer to town or family. It’s important to think long term when planning a move and take into consideration things like access to care, transport links, local shops and nearby social activities. Our Guide on Choosing a Care Home in Suffolk includes a brief overview of the major towns in Suffolk and their main attractions.

If your elderly relative is still healthy and mostly mobile, downsizing is the first of the independent living options to consider. For some more general tips on downsizing, you can visit our page on the main Age Space site.

NHS Health Services

NHS hospitals Suffolk

Something you should consider when planning a move for your elderly relative is access to healthcare services. You should use our overview of Elderly Care Services in Suffolk to find out who is responsible for providing healthcare in each region and where the nearest GP is in the area you are looking to move into.

Transport Links

Transport services are vital when considering independent living options, especially if your relatives are no longer fit to drive. SuffolkonBoard is an online resource that databases all of Suffolk’s public transport links.

Through this website, you can plan your journey, look up buses and timetables and learn more about concessionary travel. There is also a map overview of transport links in Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council also runs a service called Connecting Communities for those who might not have access to regular buses. You can book your journey online and the prices are based on what it might cost if there was a bus for your desired route.

Age Space also has two other guides on Suffolk based transport for you to consider:

Home Care Services in Suffolk

Finding Home Care Services in Suffolk can be another great way of helping your elderly relative to maintain their independence at home, whilst offering some support with tasks around the house that may have become more difficult; such as cooking, cleaning and washing up.

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

Sheltered Housing in Suffolk

Sheltered Housing allows your relatives to live independently, but allows you to be assured of their safety. Their new home will be a part of a group of houses and flats that accommodate people of similar ages.

During the day, estate managers can check up on your relative, but they do not provide care. Although each individual unit is separate to the rest, there is often a shared communal space or café for socialising and getting to know your neighbours.

Sheltered housing elderly person with tea and pet

Before applying to a sheltered housing scheme your relative will most likely need to undergo a care needs assessment. Age Space offers a guide on getting a Care Needs Assessment in Suffolk.

There are lots of schemes across Suffolk that offer sheltered housing for those over 60. Follow the links below for more information.

Suffolk Retirement Homes

Retirement homes are much like sheltered housing, but often less independent and more communal. Instead of a separate house, normally retirement homes allow you to rent or buy a room or apartment.

Retirement homes differ from nursing homes in the level of medical care that is available to their residents.

Like care homes, retirement homes often require the potential resident to undergo a care needs assessment and to have a health check from a GP, so that they don’t accept members with needs they can’t provide for.

You can search for retirement homes in your area at

If your relative requires more care then they may be best suited to a residency in a care home. Follow the link to Age Space’s page on Finding a Care Home in Suffolk.