In sickness and in health - Extra Care Housing works especially well for couples

Cover Case Study 122

This Housing LIN Case Study no 122 is about taking on board the views of people living in extra care housing.

The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) is a large not for profit provider of care homes and extra care housing (ECH). Asking its customers what they think about their support seemed an obvious way to improve the services that are provided at OSJCT. Every year they carry out a survey of people living in their extra care housing to get their feedback and to check out if they are happy with their support.

This year they decided to go a bit deeper and talk to people face to face about their experience of ECH.

They found that a real benefit, one that is often understated, is that ECH keeps couples together when one of them needs care. It means that the carer can still maintain an active lifestyle, in the knowledge that their partner is safe and supported.

They cite that supporting couples enables Councils to meet their new obligations to informal carers under the Care Act 2014, it avoids unnecessary care home admission and it has obvious beneficial outcomes for couples who want to stay together.

People were pleased to be asked for their views and OSJCT take account of what their residents tell them as they shape services for the future.