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Questions about Residential Care

Here are a selection of frequently asked questions we receive regarding residential care. However, if you can't find what you are looking for, contact the Access Service (Adult Social Care) for further guidance.

What is sheltered housing?

Sheltered housing is accommodation specifically designed for older people, or young people with a disability, to allow them to live independently.

Sheltered housing usually consists of self-contained flats with communal facilities. In most cases, they are available to people aged over 60, although some schemes may be open to those over 55 years old.

Such accommodation can be bought or rented, either by individuals or couples. Residents can pay for sheltered housing privately (out of their own funds), or, if they meet certain eligibility criteria, they can apply to be allocated sheltered housing by their local council or housing association.

The main advantage of sheltered housing, is that residents have help at hand if they need it as most offer additional support in the form of:

  • A scheme manager (or warden) living on or off-site, who gives advice to residents, ensures that communal areas are clean and arranges maintenance and repairs
  • A 24-hour emergency alarm system within each property, so that residents can call for help if they have a fall for example.

All schemes are run differently so, when considering a move, make sure you ask:

  • What duties is the scheme manager responsible for?

  • What hours does the scheme manager work?

  • What happens if your relative needs emergency help when the scheme manager is not on the premises?

  • Are any changes being planned for the way in which the service is delivered?

  • How much is the service charge and, if appropriate, can your relative get any financial help towards the charges?

What is extra care housing?

Extra care housing schemes are similar to sheltered housing, but they offer additional care services.  These additional care services are provided subject to a needs assessment.

How do I find out about the standards of different care homes?

Residential and nursing homes are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You can view the reports from recent inspections on the CQC website.

I wish to go into residential care, how do I organise this?

If you do not need help with care home fees, you can arrange your own move.  However, if you need help from Cornwall Council we try to offer you a place in the home of your choice as long as:

  • You have eligible social care needs and the level of care provided will meet these
  • There is a place for you in the home
  • It doesn't cost more than the local authority would usually expect to pay (or someone will pay the difference)
  • The home accepts the Council's terms 

The following websites offer further advice:

I need assistance with funding residential care, what do I need to do?

If you’re thinking about moving into a care home and would like to see if you are eligible for financial assistance from the Council, you can ask us to visit you and we will carry out a needs assessment to look at your social care needs. If you have a carer, we’ll offer to assess their needs too.  You can request a needs assessment by contacting the Access Service.

We will also carry out a financial assessment to establish your contribution towards the fees.

What can I expect from a financial assessment?

Information about a financial assessment can be found on the Cornwall Council website.

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