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Housing Options for Older People
Whether you own your own home, or rent from a landlord, there are a number of housing options you might want to think about as you get older.
If you want to stay in your existing home, extra support, adaptations and security measures may help you to carry on living independently. Alternatively, you may feel it's time to move to a smaller home, or one where there is somebody on hand to help you in an emergency, or on a more regular basis.
Information about the options available and how to arrange these can be found on the Council's website. You can also download the AgeUK Housing Options Guide to help you make up your mind about the best way forward.
I just want to move to something smaller...
Downsizing is an option for home-owners and tenants.
As a home-owner, moving to a smaller property may give you a nest-egg to enjoy in your retirement, and reduce your bills and maintenance costs. Local estate agents and websites can help you find a suitable home.
Council & Housing Association tenants can apply to exchange with another tenant, or to transfer to a smaller property. The City of Cardiff Council and Housing Associations in Cardiff offer their tenants advice and practical help with a move to smaller accommodation - contact your landlord for more information.
If you are renting privately, and want to continue to do so, you can look for a smaller property via a letting agent or online.
I want to live independently but need support...
Many people who live independently in their own home receive care from a family member or friend on an informal basis which allows them to manage day to day. If this is the case for you, remember that services are available in Cardiff to support your carer. Cardiff Council's website offers information about the range of services and help available including respite care to give your carer a short break, and financial help.
If you don't have a carer, or need more support than they are able to give, the Council may be able to arrange services for you. You will be offered an assessment to find out what sort of care and support you need and whether the Council can provide this for you. The assessment is free, but there will be a charge for services if you have income or savings above a certain level.
For extra peace of mind, you could have a Community Alarm put in, to make sure that you can call for help at any time at the push of a button, or find out about Telecare arrangements which offer even greater security.
If you are interested in moving, Cardiff Council and Housing Associations in the city keep some of their properties for older people only. These are generally bungalows and flats, some of which offer the support of a Scheme Manager to help in an emergency, and with day to day issues if needed. Properties with this type of support are often referred to as 'sheltered accommodation' - where tenants live totally independently, but can be sure that neighbours are of a similar age.
If I stay put, who can help with repairs in my home?
If you rent your home, contact your landlord in the first instance to find out if you are responsible for the repairs or if they can help.
Care & Repair Cardiff help older people with repairs, improvements and adaptations ranging from a small water leak, to fitting handrails or replacing a roof. They also offer:
- energy efficiency advice to help keep your home warm and your bills as low as possible
- a welfare benefits check to make sure you are receiving all the money you are entitled to
- a check to minimise hazards and your risk of falling in your home
- signposting to other services and activities that might be of help or interest to you.
Contact them on 029 2047 3337 for more information.
I am disabled and need adaptations...
If you want to stay in your existing home, but are struggling to manage because of your disability (or because another member of your household in disabled) help and advice is available. Visit the 'home improvement' pages of this site for more information about the practical and financial help that may be available to you.
Alternatively, if your home is no longer suitable and you want to move to a property that has been adapted for your needs, contact the Cardiff Accessible Homes Scheme on Tel: 02920 468408 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I need a higher level of care on an ongoing basis
If you can no longer manage with care at home Cardiff Council can assess your needs and help you consider all your options.
Depending on your circumstances, one option you may want to consider is Extracare accommodation. This offers 24 hour care and support, while allowing you to maintain your independence in a self contained flat. The Linc Cymru and Hafod Housing Association websites contain details of Extracare schemes in Cardiff.
I want to move out of Cardiff...
If you are a Council or Housing Association tenant and want to move to another area (perhaps to live closer to family), contact the Council in that area and ask to join their housing waiting list. Although there is high demand for Council and Housing Association accommodation in most areas, the waiting time for sheltered accommodation is often shorter - ask for advice about the types of property and areas that come up most often, and talk to your family if you are not familiar with the area.
Council and Housing Association tenants in Cardiff can also use the national website http://www.homeswapper.co.uk/ to look for an exchange to a suitable property in a new area, free of charge.
If you own your home contact a local estate agent to get your home valued - it is always worth getting more than one opinion. National websites will help you get a feel for property prices in the area you want to move to, and to decide whether a move is affordable.
You could also consider renting privately in the new area. This is often the quickest way to move as there is a good supply of privately rented accommodation in most towns and cities. Remember that, if you rent your current home, you need to give your landlord notice in line with your tenancy agreement.