Sheltered housing(4 Posts)
Hello ! I'm a first time poster in the elderly parents section.
I need to know how the sheltered accommodation system works for buyers.
My Dad is in the process of selling the family home following my Mum's death. He has a lung condition which is deteriorating.
He was originally going to buy an ordinary flat near me but now feels a sheltered accommodation flat would be more realistic. He would be paying and not entitled to any financial assistance. How would this work ? Is it just like buying any flat ?
You need to do your homework. There is quite a lot of variety: age restricted; sheltered and very sheltered. And probably more. I am not an expert, simply someone who climbed a steep learning curve fast.
Age restricted tend to be the big builders, McCarthy and Stone etc. Usually very little care/support is available and indeed the one I enquired about would not allow anyone below the set age to live there. No good if you needed temporary live in care following a hospital discharge.
Extra care usually means 24 hour warden cover. DM lives in an extra care flat and it is fab. Reception from 7.00am to 10.00pm, scope to eat in the 'restaurant', laundry service, weekly clean, maintained gardens, handyman employed during the week, etc. Service charges are about £600pm but so much cheaper than if she were in a home. (She has lost most of her memory.) And much nicer.
Standard sheltered, I think, means without the 24 hour warden.
You need to be very careful though. Some leases are very restrictive, making flats hard to sell. And if you can't sell you are stuck paying a high service charge. Some national management companies have a poor reputation. In contrast flats in my mums block often sell at a premium. I guess you could get a rough idea of popularity by doing an advanced search on Right Move and ticking the age restricted box. Blocks that are cheap probably are for a reason.
I ended up using a local solicitor who has built some expertise in sheltered housing leases. PM if you need a name.
Your advice is very helpful. We certainly need to do as much research as possible. We will proceed very cautiously.
Also ask around. I found my mum's flat through a suggestion from the home where she was receiving respite care. They knew much better than me about the support she would need.
Purchasing the flat was a big decision and one I had to make quickly, and I was relieved to get confirmation from both the priest and, randomly, a British Gas plumber, that they knew the place, the staff were engaged and supportive, and that the residents seemed happy. GPs will know the local offer, and SS will have a list. Public sector staff won't be able to recommend places, but if you ask something more open-ended like "which provision should I look at", the ones they think suitable, should be on the list.
Do think ahead. You want your dad to make as few moves as possible. Adapting to a new home becomes more and more difficult as time goes on, so there is advantage in planning ahead even if this means that your are initially paying for services you don't need. A big benefit is that you are part of a community, and the hope is that if you help neighbours early on, favours will be returned at a later point.
FWIW my mum's development is run by a firm called Retirement Security Limited. I cannot recommend them highly enough. My mum's life has been transformed, as has mine. Simply having someone on the spot who will respond to emergencies, means I don't have to dread the phone ringing in the way I once had to.
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