Our purpose built, extra care sheltered housing schemes offer a new way of supporting older people to maintain their independence. They offer the security and privacy of self contained accommodation which is to mobility standards, including some fully wheelchair accessible apartments, and include a range of facilities such as hairdressers, 'assisted bathing' and guest rooms. One scheme also includes some intermediate care, 'step down' units, for short term occupancy during a period of assessment and rehabilitation, perhaps following a period in hospital.
The housing and support services are provided by Willow, as in our general sheltered housing, with a scheme manager based on site during office hours. To deliver the individually tailored care services we work in partnership with Brent Social Services who are responsible for contracting the care provision. Carers are based at the scheme 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including all holidays, delivering personal care to meet the regularly assessed needs of each resident.
Referrals come from the local authority and each referral is assessed for care and support needs prior to being accepted at the scheme. On moving in, individuals will have their own personal care plan which is the responsibility of Brent Social Services and a housing support plan which is the responsibility of Willow.
The aim of both the personal care plan and housing support plan is to help maximise independence. This is achieved in our extra care schemes by working closely in partnership to achieve agreed, person-centred outcomes. Many of our residents may previously have moved into residential care homes before these schemes were developed. Extra care housing provides a real alternative which, with co-ordinated care and support tailored to individual need, and a programme of social and recreational activities, contributes to enhancing the quality of life of the residents.
Willow employs an activities co-ordinator to organise social and recreational 'well-being' events in our extra care schemes.