Bristol City Council’s Better Lives at Home programme aims to deliver a step change in the development, provision, and effectiveness of a range of accommodation within the community as a real alternative to residential care for older and/ or vulnerable working age adults with care or support needs.
Bristol City Council is taking a strategic approach to enabling housing suited to an ageing population as part of an integrated approach to creating age-friendly communities.
Their Better Lives at Home programme aims to deliver a step change in the development, provision, and effectiveness of a range of accommodation within the community as a real alternative to residential care for older and/ or vulnerable working age adults with care or support needs.
The programme is underpinned by financial commitment from the council including capital spend proposals to develop extra care housing and inter-generational housing provision focused on older people, as well as supported living provision focused either on young adults transitioning to adult care services or on working age adults with care and support needs.
The council’s approach
The development of a range of housing suited to older people aims to:
- increase the supply of housing suited to age related needs, including housing with care, and free up general need social housing
- reduce the need for residential care
- maximise the number of people living in their own home
- offer sector leading accommodation that provides the spatial requirements for:
- care and support to be delivered for a wide range of physical, sensory and cognitive impairment
- lifestyle alternatives and degree of communality that offers social engagement and active retirement as an alternative to increasing isolation in one’s own home
- housing that is unencumbered by maintenance and management issues, providing security at a time in life when we are most vulnerable
- housing that is conveniently located for easy access to the range of facilities that we require to retain independence and enjoy healthy and fulfilled lives for as long as possible.
The council has undertaken extensive engagement with citizens to refine and shape its approach to housing suited to older citizens including:
- community neighbourhood trusts
- BAME community groups and representatives
- residents of existing housing schemes for older people at different sites and locations in the city
- care and support providers
- local community organisations
- local businesses.
The programme is ongoing with the following outcomes to date:
- An additional 100 units of extra care housing are now available for nomination from adult social care across two sites.
- Whilst these and existing extra care housing sites continue to provide an increasing amount of quality provision for older people, the council has identified the need to offer other options. Work is currently underway to develop a ‘Bristol Model’ including provision that supports intergenerational approaches, mixed communities and ensures that extra care housing provision is integrated in and contributes to the wider community.
- Engagement is being undertaken with people who have chosen to move into extra care housing as well as targeted engagement of communities who have not accessed this provision in order to understand how we can improve the offer for all older people who need it.
- The council is focussing in particular on ethnic minority communities to ensure that they have an appropriate offer and understand issues about access and relevance in future development.
- Planning and consultation is also underway regarding the development at the former Blake Centre site in Lockleaze and at a site in New Fosseway, to include adult care nominated extra care housing provision as well as opportunities to develop an intergenerational approach to housing and communities.