With an increasing emphasis on helping older people to remain independent in their own home for as long as possible, housing developments with varying degrees of support nearby are becoming more prevalent. Dan explains what some of the types of schemes available are and how they differ from each other.

In this section you will find:

  • Extra care schemes
  • Close care schemes
  • Grades of housing
  • Facilities
  • Rent or buy
  • Additional services

Extra care schemes

Assisted living. Extra care housing developments – often known as assisted living – take the sheltered housing concept further to cater for increasingly frail people. While they still offer independent living in a home of their own, residents have domiciliary care services on hand if they want them, 24 hours a day.

Extra care housing provides a range of other features such as on-site care staff, at least one meal a day and specially adapted bathrooms.

Close care schemes

Care villages. Close care schemes – also known as care villages – are a relatively new concept and comprise independent flats or bungalows built on the same site as a nursing or residential care home.

Services. Residents in close care developments often have some services, such as cleaning, included in their service charge and other services, such as domiciliary care, can be purchased from the care home.

Grades of housing

In some developments, there are grades of housing. These range from the relatively independent houses, through to assisted living flats that provide more nursing care, and services such as laundry and meals, and finally onto full residential and/or nursing care.


Close care and extra care housing developments, especially newer developments, often include facilities like a shop, hairdresser, cafe and gym – which can also be used by the wider community.

Rent or buy

Both types of development can be rented or purchased. Purchasers may receive a guarantee that the management will buy back the property if they enter the care home.

Additional services

If you plan to move to a close care or extra care scheme you should ensure you know how the additional care services are paid for and how they are organised. Services can either be paid for by all the residents through the service charge or paid by those people who use them. You should check with your local council whether you qualify for any assistance with such charges. You should also seek professional advice before signing any lease or tenancy agreement.