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Extra care housing - an option?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by betsie, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    252
    Just wondered if anyone has a friend or relative in extra care housing.
    I was thinking of putting my mum's name down for a flat.
    She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's/dementia 2 years ago and luckily she has not been too bad. She can still clean the house and look after her own personal care, she still takes the dog out at least twice a day. She does cook but I don't think she always eats that great ( I think she gives most of it too the dog and eats toast and jam). I have also taken over her tablets as she was getting muddled sometimes. She has also started calling most nights re tablet worries and looking for missing pets ( she only has one dog).
    I think she is lonely, my dad is in a carehome and this is the first time she has ever lived alone, she is very sociable but has no friends or nice neighbours she can pop round to see. Something I hope she would find in the extra care housing.
    The extra care housing provides a 3 course meal every day and activities 4 days a week. She can take the dog and I was hoping it would mean she would keep her independence longer ( I dread the thought of her going into a care home ). It is £214 a week including the meal, service charge and water. She would just have phone, electric and rates to add on and any care costs ( which would be minimum at present).
    My hesitation is whether the move will cause a decline as she won't know where anything is and may get more confused ( the housing manager said they keep a close eye on them for the first few weeks). Also how she would get on with the dog as the flats do not have direct access to the garden and taking her out somewhere new.

    I am so torn if only we all had a crystal ball to know what to do for the best. Any one else's experience or opinions are most appreciated.
     
  2. Pacucho

    Pacucho Registered User

    Dec 20, 2009
    531
    Wembley, Middlesex
    Hi Betsie,

    I noticed you have not received a response to your message below. I am afraid I do not have any experience of "extra care housing", but I do understand your "hesitation".

    Hopefully there will be somebody here who can help.
    Regards,

    Paco
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,902
    Female
    Scotland
    I am reluctant to butt in here but again there are not many comments. My SIL is in very sheltered housing which is not exactly like yours by the sound of it. It is an excellent option for her but she does not have dementia although is handicapped. I have noticed that those who become wandered are moved on to care homes eventually as the management in sheltered housing cannot deal with that kind of problem. SIL who is deaf and dumb is a big enough handful for them and they frequently phone me to sort out matters which are beyond them. They are often beyond me but I'm stuck with this.

    To be honest if your Mum is likely to go downhill then I would look at longer term options to avoid moving her again.
     
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,556
    Female
    England
    We have friends in an extra care complex. They rent their apartment and their contract is not fixed as they will have to vacate when the dementia becomes a problem. Not a problem because the wife has many medical conditions and when her husband needs a lot of assistance he will have to go into full time care.

    The complex is large, too difficult for the husband to go anywhere within on his own. They use the restaurant and coffee shop daily but the husband cannot find his way there on his own. At the moment it is only his memory that causes concern but without his wife he is lost.

    If he was on his own he would not manage aNd it will only get worse. Assisted living complexes are a great idea for those who may be infirm, lots of scooters bombing around all day, just needing a nurse to check blood pressure etc. to save a trip to the doctors and company available when needed. For someone with dementia starting to have more complex needs and living alone it may not be the right move.

    Everyone varies and the Manager keeping an eye on her for the first few weeks sounds good for someone without dementia but of little use for someone with dementia.

    Our friends are happy there and the wife hopefully will live there for many years to come unless of course she developes dementia.
     
  5. RobinH

    RobinH Registered User

    Apr 9, 2012
    265
    London
    Hi

    My mother has been in an Extra Care scheme since last summer. I can recommend it as a compromise between Sheltered Accommodation and a Care Home. Sheltered Accommodation is often just a small flat or bungalow with a panic button – no live-in staff, no communal areas, no communal activities.

    Her scheme is 64 flats, of 1 and 2 beds, in a building where the flat doors open to an internal corridor, with communal facilities like canteen, lounges etc., on the ground floor. There are carers based on site, with their own staff room and offices, so the carers don’t travel between calls. She sees the same ones most of the time, and they are around in the communal areas if they are needed. The activities aren’t as frequent as I’d hoped, but there are always a few people about. It does have a day centre adjoining, which runs weekdays.

    The idea of extra care is that a couple can move in and stay together when one has significant needs, but the other may be quite able. For this reason there are a few quite active people living there, and also people with physical rather than mental health problems. It’s shared between owner occupiers and housing association tenants.

    I would say that if your mother is at an early stage, this is the time to move, while she is still able to learn the layout, acclimatise and make friends. I think most people move too late, triggered by a crisis, rather than a planned move ahead of the absolute need.

    I should add that she is quite well protected from nuisance callers and fraudsters - you have to get past the manager's office and have a key to get into the main building. It also has secure enclosed gardens, and the ground floor flats have patio doors onto secure small gardens.

    It’s hard to generalise, but it does sound like she is a good candidate for Extra Care. I know places are very rare in mum’s area, so if you have a chance of one, go for it.
     
  6. Ballykeith

    Ballykeith Registered User

    Aug 26, 2013
    24
    Peterborough
    thinking of this too

    Thanks for posting that. My mother is a little bit less able than yours now. She can still do her personal care, but that's about it. I spend most of the day with her. We recently had a (second) care assessment by the council. The outcome of this was that we arranged to have a carer come in for an hour every morning, which has taken quite a bit of worry away. The social worker also mentioned extra care housing, which we will definitely consider. I do wonder about how long this option would be viable for my mother. Once my mother left the family home and moved into a flat she did become more isolated since neighbours were not sociable. I sense that this did play some part in the onset of dementia. The presence of care staff on-site, if and when needed is a positive with extra care housing, but also the possibility of an improved social life - if this is indeed realised - strikes me as of immense value in promoting quality of life and well-being. You mentioned 'rates'. Are you aware that people with Alzheimer's may be entitled to a discount or exemption from Council tax? Look up 'Council tax' on the AS website for a factsheet.
     

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