Richard Boswell aged 59 has been living in a one bedroomed apartment at Passmore Edwards Court in Liskeard following a care and support assessment from Cornwall Council when he lost his eyesight three years ago.
Cornwall Council worked with housing provider Aster Group, who currently manage the site, to refurbish the old hospital building just under ten years ago. People who live there rent their properties following a care and support referral from Cornwall Council.
Cornwall Council has plans to develop over 3500 more extra care units by 2025 to make sure local people have a better range of living options available to them as they get older, allowing people to still live independently and within their community near family and friends.
Extra care units offer people an alternative from residential care and allow them to live in their own homes with their own front door with care and support available around the clock if they need it.
Richard said: “Living here has helped to give me an independent lifestyle. I’ve made many new friends and there are activities going on all the time that you can get involved in if you want to.
“I’ve got a one bedroomed flat with a living room and dining area. The bedroom is ensuite and I have a wet room. Living here has helped with my confidence as I’m able to get around but I also feel safe.”
Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Adults Councillor Rob Rotchell said: “Extra care homes are a great way for people to maintain their independence, living in their own space while also able to access any care and support they might need.
“We have to start thinking now about how we want to live as we get older. The people who live at Passmore Edwards show us that living in homes like these can help you live independently for longer, often closer to family and friends, which leads to healthier and happier lives. This in turn reduces the need to use health and social care services, alleviating demand on already stretched services.”
National trends show that that Cornwall has an increasing older population with significant numbers of older people living alone, with long term illnesses and with dementia. Developing appropriate accommodation is one key way to meet these needs.
Nearly one in four residents of Cornwall are aged over 65 and this number is due to increase by a further 40% over the next 20 years.
The new developments will be co-designed over the next few years with local communities to recognise the different characters of towns in Cornwall.