UK Close Care and Assisted Living for the Elderly
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It is now possible for elderly couples to buy a home that allows them to retain privacy and their independence, which also provides access to care.

These are usually in a purpose built estate of individual homes for retired persons, usually detached, semi-detached or terraced bungalows, although there may also be some detached houses particularly on the more expensive estates.

These properties will almost always be for purchase as a leasehold as opposed to rental and will provide some form communal facilities like a club house and probably a guest room where visiting relatives can stay overnight.

A guest room is particularly important with smaller properties where bedroom space is limited. These properties may have a patio or a small garden but the area between each property will be communal garden and will be maintained for them. There will be some form of warden and service staff for cleaning and perhaps also some staff for providing meals and perhaps laundry.

These estates are most likely to have been built by one of the several large building firms who have become specialists in this type of retirement development. These firms also provide similar facilities in apartments. Some elderly people, particularly if they no longer drive a car, prefer to live in a town and be part of a larger community, in which case they will buy a flat whilst others will prefer something out of town and will buy a bungalow.

The builder of the estate or block of flats may employ a firm of managers to look after the day-to-day management of the estate. However the larger firms of builders who have specialised in this type of development have also become specialised in their management and have set up sections of their organisations to handlethe management side.

The close care solution

There are a small but growing number of sites offering a a full in your own home care service. These facilities are known as close care communities and one of their objectives is to avoid having eventually to go into a nursing home, although there are conditions where the nursing they require is best provided for or can only be provided for in a nursing home. They are sometimes described as developments providing continuing care.

These developments have to operate under a licence from the local health authority in order to comply with the required standards or service and care.

Access to medical services and trained staff

These estates or those which are apartments will have care staff trained up to NVQ 2 or NVQ3 level available to provide an agreed package of care to the extent required by each individual resident and for as many or as little hours a day or night as is necessary.

A nurse/manager would be responsible for the overall care facility and for the day to day running of the organisation and would do this in conjunction with each residents own GP. As a rough guide about 5 hours care per day together with the cost of meals plus the cost of the service charge would be about equal to the cost of a residential nursing home. A care level above that is still available if that is what the resident requires. In a few cases where it is necessary to provide 24 hour care up to NVQ4 level then this could be made available by agreement with the manager.

Properties with these facilities are few and far between and do not come on to the market often and in additionally the managers may have requirement criteria for the prospective resident in terms of minimum care level requirements.

Purchasers who need some care may be well placed to buy these properties and secure their future accommodation in the knowledge that they have obtained a home that will cater for virtually every situation that may develop, as they grow older.

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