SB Connect Winter 2016

New ‘extra care’ homes

The Council and partners have committed to the development of extra care housing across the Scottish Borders to help support elderly and vulnerable adults.

About 150 new extra care homes will be developed as part of a partnership programme with registered social landlords (RSLs) over the course of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2017-2022, although some may not be completed until after that period.

This is a major investment of some £40 million in this type of housing model, which will make a significant contribution to the care and support of elderly and vulnerable adults across the Scottish Borders.

Councillor Frances Renton, SBC’s Executive Member for Social Work and Housing, said: “Increasing the number of older people who are assisted to live at home can be achieved by increasing the supply and availability of extra care housing as alternatives to current residential care home provision.

“We are aiming to build upon the strong co-operation of our housing partners and support from Scottish Government to help fund, develop and deliver extra care housing schemes across the Scottish Borders.

“It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of people going into residential care could have avoided or delayed this if extra care housing had been available in their area and this programme can help contribute to meeting the needs of the growing elderly population of the region going forward.

“This is a significant proposal, involving the delivery of a large number of homes in key locations across the Scottish Borders. This will have a very positive impact, not only for those people needing this type of care but also, during the build phase in particular, for the local economy.”

The first sites to be developed will be Todlaw at Duns, a site owned by SBC and on which 30 homes will be delivered by Trust Housing Association, and Langhaugh in Galashiels, which is owned and would be developed by Eildon Housing Association with 30 extra care houses.

Extra care housing offers the possibility of supporting higher levels of dependency but also providing an environment for lively and active old age.

It is based on self-contained flats, rather than small rooms as in residential care, and offers care and support at the same level as residential care, for those who need it, available 24 hours a day.

Nile Istephan, Chief Executive of Eildon Housing Association, said: “Extra care housing is an excellent model of housing for older people and we support the Council’s strategy in developing these schemes to address the demographic challenges that we face.

“Eildon is committed to increasing the provision of new-build homes of all kinds across the Borders to meet housing need and support the local economy.”

Rhona McLeod, Trust Housing Association’s Chief Executive, added: “We are very proud of Trust’s extra care housing offer – it is a flexible and responsive way of providing those with high care needs a very personalised package of support.

“Customers can continue to live independently at home, often avoiding the need for hospital admission or long-term residential care.”