Establishing the extra in Extra Care, perspectives from three Extra Care Housing providers

Establishing the extra in Extra Care, perspectives from three Extra Care Housing providersThe International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) has published a report which suggests that Extra Care Housing could play a major part in delivering better health outcomes and reducing the long term care costs facing older people.

New research, which uses longitudinal data from three providers of Extra Care (Audley Retirement, Extra Care Charitable Trust, and Retirement Security Limited) finds that compared to those living in the community in receipt of domiciliary care, those in extra care housing are about half as likely to enter institutional accommodation. The research argues therefore that extra care accommodation is a ‘home for life’ – one that does successfully adapt to residents’ changing social care needs.

The research also finds that:

  • Around a quarter of residents who enter extra care with additional social care needs, later go on to experience an improvement in their health equating to a decrease in social care needs
  • Extra care housing is associated with a lower likelihood of admittance to a hospital overnight compared to a matched sample living in the community.
  • A lower than expected number of falls was recorded in a matched comparison group when compared to those living in the community.

These findings suggest that extra care housing could contribute significant financial savings to the public purse, particularly when taking a long-term perspective.

ILC-UK believes that:

  • 1. Policy-makers need a co-ordinated response to providing housing, health care and social care for our ageing population.
  • 2. Policy-makers should make specific pledges to increase the level of provision of extra-care housing.
  • 3. The proposed National Planning Policy Framework should champion the housing needs of older people far more robustly.
  • 4. Policy-makers should recognise and encourage private sector development of extra-care housing.
  • 5. The Health White Paper in its current form does include some mention of housing, although this is in the context of Lifetime Homes and the Warm Front schemes, both of which have fallen by the policy wayside in recent months. The findings in this report suggest that policy-makers drafting the Health White Paper should explicitly consider and make specific pledges to increase the role of housing with care.
  • 6. Policy-makers should enhance programmes of education for those who are retired and newly retired to plan their housing and financial futures. Furthermore, consumers need reassurance that policy changes will not negatively impact their retirement decisions.
  • 7. Any National or Local Falls Prevention Strategy should include housing as a key component of preventing further falls.
  • 8. Receipt of Attendance Allowance opens a gateway for many older people to access extra care housing, through helping to finance monthly care costs and to help access other benefits. We would urge policy-makers to ensure that all who are eligible to claim Attendance Allowance do so which could enable greater numbers of older people to support a stay in extra care housing.
  • 9. We would call on policy-makers to fund the design and delivery of standard data collection across the sector to allow researchers to fully quantify costs and benefits of different care models.