Sheltered housing allows you the independence of your own space and the comfort of knowing that people are there to support and help you if you need it. A lot of the sheltered housing in Northern Ireland is provided by Fold Housing Association which means that lots of people refer to sheltered housing as a "fold".
The Rights4Seniors website has detailed information on how to apply for sheltered housing.
What is sheltered housing?
Sheltered housing gives older people the independence of having their own flat with the security of having an alarm system and a warden. The flats are usually small self-contained units or single rooms in a complex, which often has a communal social area.
What does the warden do?
The sheltered housing staff should check on you every day and should be able to assist you in an emergency. They would not be expected to provide care or do things like shopping.
Can I get additional care?
If you require additional services you can still have care provided by social services, such as meals on wheels or someone to come in to get you up in the morning or to help you wash or do your housework.
Some sheltered housing units provide more care than others. This is known as "extra care housing" or "very sheltered housing". In this type of accommodation your meals will be included and you'll get help with housework. Extra care housing is usually reserved for people who have disabilities, mental ill health or are particularly frail.
Who provides sheltered housing?
Visit the Housing Care website to search through lots of housing options.
Do I have to rent a flat or can I buy one?
It is sometimes possible to buy a flat in a sheltered housing complex. If you already own you home, it may be easier for you to buy than to rent as home owners may have to wait longer to rent from the Housing Executive or housing association.
How do I pay for sheltered housing?
How you pay for sheltered housing will depend on whether you buy or rent and what your financial situation is. Rights4Seniors has more information on the cost of sheltered housing.
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