Retirement Living Housing Options for older people In Warrington

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1 Retirement Living Housing Options for older people In Warrington 1

2 CONTENTS 1. Introduction to Housing Options 2. Staying in your own home Warrington Home Information & Improvement Agency (WHiA) Repairs Aids and Adaptations Heating and Insulation Care call (community alarm service) 3. Moving Home Retirement Housing for rent Retirement Housing for sale Housing with Extra Care Residential Care 4. Financial guidance Equity Release Disabled Facility Grants Grants from Other Organisations Benefits 5. Useful Contacts 2

3 Housing options for older people As we get older our housing needs change and this often means that we may want to look at the options that are available. Staying in your own home with help and support could be a choice you decide to take. Alternatively you may decide that you want to move into more suitable accommodation which has been designed specifically for older people. This brochure will give you some points to think about to help with making this decision. We provide detailed information about what help is available if you decide you want to stay in your own home such as getting help with your repairs, maintaining your garden or making your home easier to get around. If you want to move we provide information on some of the options available in Warrington including retirement housing, buying something more suitable or housing with care. There may be a range of options available to you depending on your circumstances. When you have read this brochure if you want more information please either contact Warrington Home improvement Agency or the organisations direct. Contact details can be found in the contacts section at the end of this brochure. 3

4 Staying in your own home If you prefer not to move from your current home but are finding it difficult to manage with repairs and daily tasks there may be help, which depending on your circumstances, could be available to you and which will make your life easier and safer. Warrington Home Improvement Agency (WHiA) Warrington Home Information and Improvement Agency (previously called Care and Repair) is a local Agency who has been supporting older and disabled people for over 20 years. WHiA know how difficult it can be to keep your home in good repair and arrange for improvements and that s why they have a list of services to help. Some services are free and some services carry a small fee. WHiA have fully trained staff who can visit you in your own home to give you free and impartial advice about any problems or concerns you may have about your home. They can: They have a list of trusted contractors and can help with arranging any repairs or improvements you need to your home. This can be a small job like changing a tap to larger improvements such as building an extension, fitting central heating or having a new roof. All contractors recommended and used by WHiA are fully vetted. They can help you though the whole process from finding a reliable and trusted contractor to arranging for any work to be done and then making sure the work is done to a high standard and is value for money. They have a gardening maintenance service They have a handyperson service to do small jobs around your home and garden. The handy person service is also able to do small adaptations like fit grab rails, keys safes, half steps etc. If you are unable to fund any work WHiA can help you to look at other options to fund the repairs or improvements you may need such as grants. WHiA also have access to a wide range of assistance including free schemes to help you maintain your home to ensure you remain healthy, warm, safe and secure. Please note a fee is chargeable on some services provided. Contact details for WHiA are available in the contacts section. Repairs and improvements If you are a tenant of a social landlord such as a housing association, most repairs and improvements to your home will be your landlords responsibility and you should always report repairs directly to them. If you are renting privately your landlord also has a responsibility to carry out certain repairs and again you should report repairs to them. 4

5 If you own your home or as a private tenant are responsible for certain repairs, as mentioned above you may be able to get help from Warrington Home Improvement Agency (WHiA) who can help you get any repairs or improvements carried out by trusted contractors. Also if you are an owner occupier and your home is in need of major structural repairs you may be able to apply for financial help from Warrington Borough Council through renewals assistance. This financial help is discretionary and depends on funding being available. It is important to note that this is not a grant and you would have to pay the money back if you sell your home. For more information on this contact Private Sector Housing whose details are in the useful contacts section Aids and Adaptations If you are finding it difficult to manage in your home sometimes equipment or adaptations can make a real difference to your ability to live independently. For example, if you are having difficulty in using the bathroom you may be able to get grab rails fitted or get portable equipment such as bath seats from Social Services. If these do not solve your problems larger adaptations may be possible such as having a downstairs WC installed, having alterations done to your bathroom or kitchen, or having a level access shower fitted. There is a grant available for these types of major adaptations called disabled facilities Grant (DFG). This grant is means tested and is assessed by Warrington Borough Council. To apply for any equipment or an adaptation you need to contact the Access to Social Care Team. Their number is in the useful contacts section. Warrington Disability Partnership (WDP) can offer advice and information about the range of adaptations and equipment available. Local information can be found on the Warrington. The contact details for WDP are in the contacts section. Heating and Insulation If your heating system is in need of upgrading or your home needs insulating then there are a number of options available. If you are a home owner or renting privately, are over 60 and get a means- tested or disability benefit you may be eligible for the Warm Front Scheme. This is a government funded scheme which provides grants to make your home warmer, healthier and more energy efficient. See for further information. There are also many other websites that can give you advice about insulation such as insulationgrants.info. For free and impartial advice about domestic energy efficiency visit the Council s Eco Hut located in Warrington Retail Market. They are able to give you free and impartial 5

6 information about making your home more comfortable and the savings that can be made by having insulation installed and how to use your heating more efficiently. If you are unable to get a grant from any of the national schemes then you may be able to get some help through the Affordable warmth grants. This is a scheme available to vulnerable households in Warrington to help install energy efficiency measures and / or heating improvements. Care Call (Community alarm service) This gives you the reassurance that in an emergency you will be able to call for help 24 hours a day. Warrington Borough Council s social alarm service is called Care Call and this service can help older and vulnerable people living in Warrington to remain living independently and safely in their own homes. This service ensures that people are able to get help as quickly as possible in case of an emergency. The Care Call service is linked to your home through your existing telephone line via a Care Call unit and a lightweight portable trigger worn as a pendant or on your wrist. Pressing the button on your unit or pendant can raise an alarm anywhere in your house or garden. Your call will go through to a call centre with trained staff who will be able to talk to you and assess what help is needed. There is an initial installation charge and then a small quarterly charge for this service. Telecare equipment Other telecare equipment is also available to help people live in their home independently and safely. Equipment includes smoke and flood detectors, bed, chair and epilepsy sensors and property exit alarms. If these sensors are triggered the call centre is notified and help can be called. If you are interested in the emergency alarm system or want information about any telecare equipment you need to contact the Access for Social Care Team. They will arrange for you to be visited home to discuss whether you would benefit from this service. The number for the Access for Social Care Team is in the useful contacts section at the end of the brochure. Moving Home The thought of moving home later in life can seem like a big step, but staying put may mean you are living in a house that is too large, you are paying expensive bills and are experiencing difficulty in maintaining your home and gardens. If you feel that staying in your home is no longer an option and you want to move, there are many options available to you. There are a range of organisations that may be able to help you including housing providers, voluntary agencies and the Council; you can find the details in the contact us section. 6

7 Retirement Housing (also known as Sheltered Housing) Renting retirement housing If you feel that your current home and gardens are becoming too large to manage and maintain or you feel that you want to move to somewhere smaller and more manageable then maybe moving into a retirement scheme and renting may be an option to consider. Retirement housing is specifically designed to meet the needs of older people. Many retirement housing schemes have a scheme manager to provide some support and reassurance should this be needed and also have an emergency alarm service which offers emergency support 24 hours a day. Moving into retirement housing can therefore offer older people independence but with the reassurance that assistance is available in an emergency. Many retirement schemes also have communal facilities where social events and activities can take place. This means you can socialise with other residents if you want to. Most retirement schemes in Warrington are owned by housing associations or Local Authorities which means you are offered a secure tenancy with most repairs and improvements and gardening of the communal areas done by your landlord. This means no maintenance or gardening worries. There are many retirement housing developments throughout Warrington and a full list of these can be obtained from WHiA. Developments range from small to large developments of mainly one and two bedroom apartments with some schemes having bungalows. Rents vary depending on the scheme but generally include a service charge which covers services provided by the landlord such as window cleaning, cleaning services to common areas, landscaping and for any support which is provided by a Scheme Manager. Buying Retirement Housing Some Housing Associations and specialist companies such as McCarthy & Stone build developments with properties for sale that are specifically designed for the over 55's. Depending on the development the services provided may vary, however generally they have a scheme manager to provide support when needed and also a care call alarm system in each property. Some developments allow purchasers to buy outright at the full market price whereas in some developments there are special arrangements for older people with limited income and insufficient capital to buy at reduced market prices. These are:- 7

8 Shared ownership Here you part rent and part buy. You buy a percentage stake in the property usually 25-50%. Although this can be affordable, as you only own a percentage of the property you will miss out on some of the equity growth if the housing market rises. You can, however, staircase which means buying another portion of the property later on. Shared ownership mortgage schemes vary form lender to lender with some lending up to 100% loan to value on the purchased share. You will pay rent to the Landlord as well as any service charges for services they provide. Leasehold schemes for the elderly (LSE) Leasehold schemes are usually developed by Housing Associations You purchase a percentage of the property usually around 70-75%, and the remaining 25-30% is owned by the Housing Association. When you sell you receive 70-75% of the new market value and the remaining 25-30% equity is passed onto the new buyer. You don t pay any rent but there is generally a service charge to cover the maintenance and upkeep of your home and any communal areas and gardens, the provision of a scheme manager and any other services provided. In some leasehold schemes when you sell a small percentage of the sale price is also taken to go into a sinking fund to pay for major repairs. Lifetime Lease you buy the right to live in retirement housing for the rest of your life. The price is below the normal purchase price but you do not own the property and when you leave the property it reverts back to the company. Retirement Villages Retirement villages are generally larger retirement developments where on site there are a larger range of facilities for both residents and local people to use. Facilities may include a restaurant, bar and lounge, gym and activity rooms. In some retirement villages the owners which are mainly Housing Associations, can offer properties for rent and also to buy outright or on a shared ownership basis. Care and support is also provided in some retirement villages which mean that for those who need it and are eligible more support and care is available. Ryefields Retirement Village in Warrington has properties for rent, outright sale and though shared ownership. For more information please contact Ryefields Retirement Village direct. Their contact details are shown in the contacts section. Housing with Care (Extra Care) If you need more support than retirement housing offers then extra care housing may be what you need. This is retirement housing but with the additional provision of 24 hour 8

9 care and support available on site. Depending on the development, properties can be rented or purchased and to be eligible for extra care housing there are criteria which need to be met. A full assessment would be done to assess if you were eligible. Apartments within extra care schemes are self contained and the care is provided in your own home usually by an on site care team. If you would like more information about where extra care retirement housing schemes are in Warrington or if retirement housing is something you may be considering please contact WHiA for more information. Care Options If you can no longer live independently and need help with support and care needs then moving into a residential care home may be the right solution for you. These may be owned and operated by private individuals, companies, not for profit organisations and some Local Authorities. Residential care homes generally provide accommodation, all meals and 24 hour personal care. Nursing homes offer the above plus nursing care 24 hours a day for people who are very frail or have a medical condition or illness which requires regular attention from a nurse. A qualified nurse is always on duty. For more information about care options and the location of residential and nursing homes contact Access to Social Care or Whia who can provide you with detailed information. Finance Equity Release Equity release is the term used to cover various ways that older homeowners can use the equity in their home to generate income or capital lump sums while continuing to live there. The cash can be used to fund improvements or to make your daily life more comfortable. Before considering equity release it highly recommended that people take legal and financial advice. Age Concern, SAGA and SHIP provide information and guidance regarding equity release. Disabled Facility Grants (DFG) A Disabled Facilities Grant is a government grant which is available to funding mainly larger adaptations such as installing a wet room with level access shower, stair lifts, and providing ground floor facilities. This grant is means tested and you will need an assessment of your finances to see if you are eligible. Contact the Access for Social Care team for an assessment by the Independent Living services team 9

10 WHiA can offer advice and support with applying for a disabled facilities grant and can also arrange for the work to be done (see aids and adaptations section). Grants from other Organisations If you were in the armed forces organisations such as The Royal British Legion and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) they can also help with obtaining grants for repairs and adaptations. Some employers also have grants available to ex-employees if they were in the pension scheme. If you worked in certain trades help is also available from organisations. Please contact WHiA who can provide you with more help and advice. If you need any further information on any of the above please contact Warrington Home Information and Improvement Agency who will be happy to help (details in the contacts section). Benefits If you are renting you may be able to claim housing benefit to help towards the cost of your rent, service charges and Council Tax. For more information about housing and council tax benefits or to see if you may be entitled to other benefits there are several agencies including WHiA, Citizens Advice Bureau or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who can give you advice. All contact details can be found in the contacts section. 10

11 Useful contact details Warrington Home Information and Improvement Agency (WHiA) The Gateway 89 Sankey Street Warrington WA1 1SR Telephone: Fax: Access to Social Care Contact Warrington Horsemarket Street, Warrington, WA1 1XL Telephone: Warmfront Telephone: Eco Hut Stall Warrington Retail Market Bank Street Warrington WA1 2EN Telephone: Warrington Disability Partnership The Centre for Independent Living, Beauford Street Warrington WA2 9EP Telephone: Department for wok and Pensions (DWP) Warrington Housing Association The gateway 89 Sankey Street, Warrington WA1 1SR Telephone: Ryefields Retirement village Arena Gardens, Norris Street Warrington Telephone: arena-housing.com Private Sector Housing PO Box 875 Warrington WA1 1WP Telephone:

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