Environment

Sheltered housing & Almshouses

Most people have heard of Sheltered Housing, but many people are not clear as to what it means to live in sheltered or supported accommodation.
To many people Almshouses are a thing of the past, out of date and no longer needed. It is true that almshouses have been around for over a thousand years but they are far from out of date, and number 25,000 in this country alone.

Here in Bond’s and Ford’s Hospitals and Bond’s Court, we think we have a good mix of the ancient and modern.

In the tried and trusted Almshouse tradition we have staff who live on site, who know residents and their families well, and who are available not only for emergencies but also for a friendly chat or advice every day during the working week.

The Trustees who administer the Almshouses take a personal interest in residents, attending coffee mornings and resident led functions to keep in touch with residents. They encourage staff to take up training for their personal development, which also benefits residents by receiving a better service delivery from the staff.

By definition Sheltered Housing does not provide ‘Hands On’ care, but the Scheme Manager can help residents’ to contact Doctors, Hospitals and Social Services to give their help and advice if that is what is needed. If the need is for more practical help such as a cleaner or someone to go shopping, they can put residents’ in touch with outside agencies who can be employed to do the work required.

The national trend is for ‘floating support’ to replace the resident Scheme Manager. This has resulted in some cases of sheltered schemes being visited by a non resident Support Worker who has several other schemes to visit. The Trustees of this Charity do not consider this in keeping with Almshouse traditions, and intend to continue with residential Scheme Managers in order to preserve the standard of service that residents currently enjoy.