More choice on living options for older people in Cornwall

As part of a plan to help older people and those in need of care live independent and healthier lives for longer, Cornwall Council will create 3,500 ‘Extra Care’ housing units across the county.

An update on the programme was given during a Cornwall Council All Member Briefing on Friday 2 November.

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National trends show that that Cornwall has an increasing older population with a significant numbers of older people living alone, with long term illnesses and with dementia.

Nearly one in four residents of Cornwall are aged over 65 and this number is due to increase by a further 40% over the next 20 years.

Extra Care units offer people an alternative from residential care and allow them to live in their own homes with their own front door with care and support available around the clock if they need it. 

Cornwall Council’s first step towards this plan is to develop a strategic partnership to deliver a minimum of 750 units. 

The scheme will provide cost effective options to older people with a mixture of units for sale and for rent.

Portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “These will be self-contained homes with their own front doors where people have access to care and support when they need it. People often think about downsizing their homes as they get older so Extra Care is an attractive option when planning for possible care and support needs in the future. 

“Evidence shows that helping people to live independently for longer in homes like these, often closer to their family and friends, leads to healthier and happier lives. This in turn reduces their need to use health and social care services, alleviating demand on already stretched services.”

They will be co-designed with local communities to recognise the different characters of towns in Cornwall.

The other ways in which this scheme will be delivered are:

  • Remodelling partners’ existing capacity (such as sheltered housing and care homes) that are no-longer fit for purpose. 
  • Market shaping - to identify and develop opportunities with new and existing providers to deliver accommodation suitable for older people’s needs.
  • Direct development – there may be opportunities for the Council to directly build especially in areas where the market is less responsive.

Posted on 6 November 2018