The challenges facing the Authority in caring for these vulnerable residents requires consideration of the widest range of possible options – including building new schemes and improving a number of existing sites. As such, £45 million is being invested over a decade to stimulate the development of schemes for older people across the whole county, with a further £35million for schemes to support younger adults with learning and physical disabilities.
Hampshire County Council Leader, Councillor Roy Perry explained: “The way some residents wish to live their lives is changing, and to be able to live independently in a home of their own remains the number one aspiration for the majority of adults supported by the County Council. The private sector is providing many similar schemes for people who can afford to buy. Our scheme will include provision for people to rent, as well as providing a limited number of apartments to purchase.
“For many people who may be finding it difficult to cope, Extra-Care is an ideal solution. People can have their own home with their own front door, and couples with different care needs can stay living together - with the added reassurance that help is at hand whenever they need it.
“Research has also shown that older people living in Extra-Care housing enjoy better health, have fewer hospital stays and a lower number of falls. They are also less likely to need to move into residential or nursing care. Old age and infirmity will come to many of us, and in Hampshire, we want to make that difficult change in circumstances as easy and good as possible. When people move into Extra-Care they are, or course, releasing other accommodation for younger people, so it’s a win-win.”
Over the next five years, the number of individual Extra Care units for older people in Hampshire will continue to increase, which will lead to the development of more than 1,500 accommodation units across the county. Schemes include the Winchester development at Chesil Street, due to open this autumn, and further new projects are planned across Hampshire in a number of locations, including Test Valley, Romsey, New Forest, East Hampshire, Gosport, and Havant.
For younger adults, Extra Care schemes are already progressing in Emsworth, New Milton, Horndean, Locksheath and Bordon, providing a total of 38 units.
There are also new developments planned on County Council-owned sites in Winchester, for a specialist service for people with Prader Willi Syndrome, and housing for people with significant physical disabilities, in Basingstoke. Further new schemes in Aldershot, Basingstoke and New Milton are scheduled to open in 2018.