The development of social well-being in new extra care housing schemes

Lisa Callaghan, Ann Netten and Robin Darton

Helping residents interact in extra care schemes. Extra care schemes help older people remain independent. But they also aim to provide social opportunities that prevent residents feeling isolated.

Extra care schemes help older people remain independent. But they also aim to provide social opportunities that prevent residents feeling isolated.

This research, which examined how social well-being developed in 15 new-build housing schemes, revealed the following:

  • Communal facilities and a diverse range of organised activities need to be available when schemes open as they help residents interact
  • Residents involved in running social activities found it gave them ownership of their social lives, supported their independence and encouraged others to join in
  • Adequate staff time and resources to support social activities are crucial at the start of a scheme but also over time as some residents become frailer
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