Housing options for older people
We provide a range of housing and support options to help you stay independent as you get older.
Help to stay at home
Many older people would prefer to stay in their own home rather than move into other accommodation. There are a number of services that can provide practical help to allow you to continue with independent every-day living.
Equipment and adaptations
If you are having problems getting around your home, for example climbing stairs or getting in and out of the bath, your home may be able to be adapted to make it easier for you.
If you are a council or housing association tenant your landlord will do the work for you and if you are a home owner or private tenant you can apply for a grant of between 80% and 100% of the cost of the work, depending on your income.
For more information please see our Equipment and adaptations page.
Community alarm service
If you live alone and/or are at risk from falls or sudden attacks of illness you might want to think about getting a community alarm to alert staff when you are in difficulty. There is a small weekly charge for the community alarm service.
There is also a range of equipment that can be linked to a community alarm, for example to help people with dementia, known as Telecare equipment.
Care and support to help you stay at home
Our Home Care Service operates seven days a week and can help people remain independent by providing support with daily living tasks such as washing, dressing, preparing meals and shopping. There can be charges for some home care services but these are explained before agreeing to the service.
We can also offer short breaks or respite for carers. Breaks can be planned or provided in emergency situations.
If you're having difficulty coping in your home and it is not possible to adapt it, you may have to consider moving to alternative accommodation. If you decide that moving home is the best choice for you then you need to decide whether you wish to rent or buy a property.
Housing for rent
If you want to apply for a council or housing association home to rent you can use our Homefinder service to find something suitable. Homes are also available to rent from private landlords or letting agents.
Sheltered housing is for older people who would like to continue to live independently but would benefit from some additional support. It is usually a group of flats or bungalows specially designed for older people. You normally need to be over 60 to qualify for Sheltered Housing.
Very sheltered housing
Very sheltered housing is designed to meet the needs of frail older people who need additional support to live independently. This could include:
a midday meal
support with personal care, for example bathing
help with practical and domestic tasks
You can also get information on very sheltered housing in our Guide to Sheltered Housing.
Amenity housing is ground or first floor properties, or properties served by a lift, that have been specially designed or adapted for older people, including handrails, raised electrical sockets and non-slip bathroom flooring.
To find out where amenity properties are located please contact your local housing office.
Private retirement properties
There are a number of private developments which provide retirement housing for older people who want to own their own homes. Developments are usually made up of self contained flats and sometimes bungalows. The services provided in retirement housing can vary and you should always check what is available.
There is often an alarm system that you can use to get help in an emergency and many developments have a warden or manager living on site.
If you are interested in buying a smaller home or a retirement property you could ask your local estate agent to contact you if a particular type of property in your chosen area comes on the market.
You could also contact one of the larger specialists in retirement housing:
Residential care homes
If you are no longer able to manage in your own home even with support then moving into a residential care home may be your best option. The level of care varies from home to home but includes help with washing, bathing, dressing, toilet needs and eating.
Moving into a care home is a big step so you should discuss your options with your local Social Work office before you make any decisions. Care homes sometimes provide nursing care too so make sure what levels of care are provided before you move.