Table of contents

Evidence of what works

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Housing and homelessness :: Evidence of what works

Living Independent Lives

We aim to enable people to live independently in their existing homes, and the Council has supported this approach through a shift from institutional care to more individually tailored services to assist people to live in the community through the provision of aids and adaptations and assistive technology, as well as targeted specialist accommodation and accessible social care support based on individual need and choice.

The older population in Medway is increasing, with the numbers of people aged 65 and over projected to increase from 36,000 to 46,100 by 28% in the next ten years. The numbers aged 85 and over are projected to increase by 38% in the next ten years and more than double in the next 20 years. The steady overall growth in the population will put pressure on existing services. The Housing Strategy recognises that increasing proportions of the older population in future years are likely to own their own home. This has significant bearing on older people's housing aspirations and their expectations. Broadly, many homeowners will seek to stay in their existing homes for as long as they can. There will however still be significant numbers of older people who may need specialist accommodation that mesh support, care and housing provision. The Council is working to adapt homes and provide support so that people can remain living independently rather than in more costly supported accommodation. We work in partnership with Hyde In Touch to provide a Home Improvement Agency service in Medway. The service supports older or disabled people who need a repair or adaptation to their home, helping people maintain their independence, safety and dignity. The service helps with things like:

• Organising repairs and adaptations
• Making sure people are receiving the right benefits
• A handyperson service to do small jobs around the home
• Finding organisations that can help with other problems

We work with the Occupational Therapy Service to help people with a disability to adapt their home to suit their needs. We provide advice that may be able to assist with the cost of funding the work via a Disabled Facilities Grant. Between 2008–9 and 2010–11 we assisted 445 vulnerable people to adapt their properties using a Disabled Facilities Grant.

Key Achievements 2008–11

Supported Housing Gateway system was set up, which since 1 April 2009 has placed 1,903 vulnerable people in supported accommodation or provided them with floating support.