Housing options

Learn about the different housing options for older people.

Care homes

Care homes provide accommodation with trained staff on hand to look after your needs day and night.

There are two types of care home:

  1. care homes with trained staff who provide personal care similar to care that you would receive from relatives and friends
  2. nursing homes that provide the same level of care as care homes but also have trained nurses on duty to provide skilled nursing care when you need it.

You can find information about care homes in our Care Guide.

Other care options

One of the hardest decisions facing people who need care involves the choice between staying in their current home or moving to a new home which might be more suitable.

Regardless of whether you own or rent your current home, the decision whether or not to move, and the options that are available, can be bewildering.

A good source of free and impartial advice on housing and care needs is provided by the Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) which provides information to help you make informed choices about your housing needs. This includes advice on moving or staying put and where to get good financial advice, as well as up-to-date information on a range of accommodation and housing options throughout West Sussex and in other parts of the UK.

The EAC also provide FirstStop Advice, a free telephone service offering advice and information to elderly people, their families and carers about housing options in later life. You can contact EAC by emailing info@firststophousingadvice.org.uk or phoning  0800 377 7070.

Sheltered and retirement housing options

There is a wide variety of sheltered and retirement housing schemes available in West Sussex, both for sale and to rent. These schemes provide independent living for people who value the security of living in a property that was designed with older people in mind. Most schemes are restricted to people aged 60 or over, but this varies.

Many people living in this type of accommodation continue to live very active lives, but welcome the fact that they are less likely to need to move if their health or mobility deteriorates. Some sheltered and retirement schemes employ staff to support their residents’ wellbeing. This varies from one scheme to another and you may have to pay a separate charge for this.

Sheltered and retirement housing properties are available for sale on a leasehold basis or for rent through some local authorities and housing associations. To find out about vacancies in rented schemes, contact your local district or borough council. You can find details of most sheltered and retirement housing schemes in West Sussex on the Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) website.

Extra care housing

Extra care housing is an attractive offer for many people who want to keep some independence but need some care and support. Extra care schemes are purpose-built for people with care needs where accommodation is fully self-contained with either one or two bedrooms, many of which are adapted for wheelchair access.

Most schemes will also include a restaurant, residents’ lounge, hair salon and landscaped garden. Extra-care flats are available to rent and buy (leasehold).

The care and support service provided within extra care schemes varies. Many schemes have care teams on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing residents with emergency support at all times, as well as any regular planned care visits they may need. This kind of service provides an attractive alternative to residential care and allows families to continue to live together in their own home.

You can access extra care housing through Adult Social Care, district and borough council housing services and direct from housing providers. Find further information about extra care schemes.

Supported housing

This is designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Some schemes have the benefit of a live-in warden and emergency call systems. Other schemes offer communal accommodation to small groups of people with similar needs. They are mainly for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems.

More detailed information can be found in our Care Guide, including details of registered care homes and home care services.

Useful links

Last updated:
17 January 2022
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