You could be eligible for sheltered housing if you’re over 60 years old. If you’re over 55 and have a “demonstrated support need” you may be able to apply as well.
If you have a health or social care need that means you require support you will need to complete the special needs and medical assessment form, along with supporting evidence.
Sheltered housing could be right for you if you...
- Want to keep your independence, but would like the peace of mind provided by having a professional support service available when needed
- Enjoy mixing with other people when you wish
- Currently live in accommodation that is too big for your needs
What is sheltered housing?
Sheltered housing is a type of supported housing, designed especially with the needs of older people in mind.
It isn’t the same as a residential or nursing home, and each tenant has their own separate flat, bedsit or bungalow (which is unfurnished).
What is provided in sheltered housing?
There are some variations between sheltered housing schemes, however they usually have...
- Self-contained flats, bedsits or bungalows
- Central heating and hot water
- Smoke alarm system
- A warden
- 24-hour Telecare alarm service - providing 24-hour cover in the case of emergencies
- A guestroom with no extra charge (arrangements can be made with the warden if a tenant has a relative or close friend who wishes to stay for a night or longer)
- A communal lounge/lounges for socialising and entertainment
- Laundry rooms with washing machines and dryers (schemes have a rota when tenants can use the machines)
- Lifts (most schemes have a lift for those who have difficulty using the stairs)
- CCTV security cameras (in some areas)
Also available at some schemes are: concessionary (discounted) TV licenses, communal gardens, mobility scooter storage, ramps, wider doorways and mobile library visits.
Wardens look after the overall wellbeing of the tenants in the scheme by:
- Dealing with emergencies
- Encouraging social activities
- Liaising with family/relatives in the event of illness
- Cleaning communal areas
- Providing information and advice on services that are available
- Visiting tenants to check their wellbeing and health
Wardens can contact close relatives or doctors on your behalf if required, for example if you become ill/ have a medical issue. Wardens will need to be provided with certain information to be able to do this (this will include names, addresses and telephone numbers of close relatives and doctors, as well as details of medical conditions).
Sheltered housing is provided for people who can look after themselves or who have the support of family/other services to help them manage in their own home. Because of this, wardens don’t provide help with tasks such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, looking after finances, or administering drugs or medicines.
Telecare alarm system
Telecare alarm systems give a direct two-way speech link that allows you to talk directly with the warden. Each sheltered housing property has a pull cord and each tenant is provided with a pendant or wrist strap, which will be individually programed to your address - both can to be used to alert for help in an emergency.
Extra equipment can be provided, for example inactivity monitors, wander alerts, to suit very specific needs. An assessment is required to identify these extra needs.
The warden and alarm system provide 24-hour cover in the case of emergencies. If the warden is off duty then calls are answered by our Delta response centre who’ll arrange for help (they can contact relatives or the emergency services as required).
Wardens are on duty during core hours only, before switching over to the alarm system in the evening. Because they aren’t on duty 24 hours a day you are asked to respect the warden’s need for privacy during off-duty hours.
Warden support plans
When you move into a sheltered housing scheme, your visiting warden will discuss your individual support plan. This plan is designed to understand the support you feel you need, and decide how many warden visits you require every week (it’s compulsory to have at least one visit). You can have a friend or relative join the support plan discussion if you wish.
Your support plan is then reviewed every six months. If there’s a change in your individual needs the plan will be reviewed straight away.
Extra sheltered housing information
Sheltered housing costs
The rent varies from scheme to scheme, depending on the type and size of accommodation. The rent charged covers the normal accommodation costs and the warden service. In some schemes the heating charge is part of the weekly rent. A separate charge is made for the telecare package and warden service. A service charge applies in all schemes.
You could be eligible for housing benefit or a discount to help towards costs, advice on this can be provided by contacting any local estate office.
For some schemes, special arrangements are available for you to apply for a concessionary (discounted) TV licence, which currently cost £7.50 a year. You can find out which schemes provide discounted licences for eligible residents by contacting the local housing office for the area the scheme is in.
Currently TV licences are free if you’re over 75.
If the individual accommodation doesn’t have its own garden, unfortunately permission to keep a cat or dog can’t be given (however guide dogs and hearing dogs are allowed).
In some schemes small caged birds such as budgerigars are allowed.
If you’re ill or going on holiday, you should make arrangements for your pet to be looked after by family or friends (as the warden can’t help with this).
How can I apply?
You’ll need to complete a housing application form which is available from any of our housing offices.
A special needs and medical assessment form can also be completed if you have a medical condition.
If you’d like to look around one of the schemes, staff at any of the housing offices can arrange a visit for you. Once you apply you’ll be placed on our open waiting list.
Sheltered housing remodelling and refurbishment programme
Our Housing and Economy Department has made a commitment to carry out the remodelling and refurbishment of our sheltered housing schemes.
In March 2020, we announced that £16.9 million is to be spent on remodelling and refurbishing our sheltered housing over the next five years. We have also set out a longer term spending plan for improving our sheltered housing stock, within the 30 year Housing Revenue Account Business Plan.
The first two schemes to be remodelled and refurbished are Llys y Mynydd, Rhos and Tir y Capel, Llay. Both schemes are currently closed, but applications are still being taken.
The works to the schemes will include:
- Increasing the space standards of the apartments, by making three smaller apartments into two, or adding standing seam bays to some apartments to make them larger
- Reconfiguring the internal layout of the apartments to make sure they are accessible
- Creating an open plan kitchen and living area in apartments, including a space for a washing machine to be installed in all kitchens
- The bathrooms in the apartments will all have level access showers
- Enlarging windows and lowering window sills, providing more natural light, and creating extra storage in the flats
- Upgrading the building fabric by increasing insulation and installing air source heat pumps, installing and connecting photovoltaics to communal areas
- Redecorating communal lounges, including new furniture
- Providing mobility scooter stores with charging points
- Creating additional car parking around the schemes
The improvements being made to kitchens are in response to suggestions from tenants. These improvements mean that the existing laundry room can be removed and the space used within the refurbishment.
When will the improvements be completed?
The works to the schemes will be completed by spring 2022.
If you have any questions about the works you can email OlderPersonsHousing@wrexham.gov.uk.