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What types of Supported Housing are there?

Housing is a basic human need. A comfortable home can enable people to feel safe; it affords them privacy and should allow them to spend time with friends or family. For many people, one of the most important aspects of having their own home is the independence which it offers. However, due to illness or disability, many people are unable to live independently in their own homes without the care and support of others. For some, the need for high levels of care and support means that they may have to move to some form of supported accommodation or residential care.

There is great variety in the types of supported housing and residential care available and different types of accommodation suit different levels of need.

Types of accommodation available

Care homes(residential care homes)
These may be run by the private sector, voluntary organisations or local authorities.

Care homes with nursing (nursing homes)
These may be run by the private sector, voluntary organisations, local authorities or health authorities.

Outreach support/floating support
This type of accommodation tends to consist of individual flats - usually housing association or council housing.

Assertive outreach
This type of accommodation is very similar to that of outreach support projects. The difference lies in the type of support provided.

Hostels
These may be run by the private sector, voluntary organisations or local authorities.

Group homes
These may be run by the private sector, voluntary organisations or local authorities. They offer varying degrees of support but do not have to be registered homes as they do not provide board or personal care.

Supported housing (sheltered accommodation)
There are many different types of sheltered or supported accommodation. These range from low to medium levels of support. Most of the sheltered accommodation available is designed with older people in mind.

Therapeutic communities
Therapeutic communities provide a supportive environment with a focus on rehabilitation. Residents usually have their own room and share communal areas. (At present there are no therapeutic communities in Wales.)

Deciding which type of housing is suitable
Points to consider
You may wish to request an assessment of care needs from your local social services department.

You can obtain details of what accommodation is available locally from social services, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, or the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales. You can also obtain brochures from particular supported housing schemes.

You could visit a number of care homes or housing schemes to see what they are like and what facilities they have to offer.

All homes should produce written information (a service-users guide) to help you make a choice about the home you want to move into.

Ask to see copies of policies and procedures, particularly complaints procedures.

Consider carefully whether the supported accommodation can meet your needs now and in the future.

If the home you choose has no vacancy, you could accept a temporary place in another home until there is a vacancy in the one you want.

A short stay in respite care will give you an insight into how a home is run and whether you would like it.

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