Independent Living Scheme vs Care Home

As we age, simple tasks such as climbing the stairs can become challenging for many of us. For many seniors, living in their homes becomes unmanagable as they age.

In other circumstances, some seniors choose to downsize as they no longer need a large family home.

When this time comes, there are many living options available depending on your needs and preferences. This includes independent living schemes, care homes, assisted living schemes, retirement villages, live-in care and even granny annexes!

In this blog, we are going to focus on two of the most popular elderly living options: independent living schemes and care homes.

What Is An Independent Living Scheme?

An independent living scheme refers to property schemes that have been purpose-built or adapted to accommodate the needs of people ages 55+.

Also known as sheltered housing or sheltered accommodation, independent living schemes feature a collection of self-contained one-bedroom apartments.

They are known as “independent living” as they are designed to provide seniors with the freedom of living independently in their own flat, whilst still offering support if required.

These apartments usually feature a double bedroom, fully-fitted kitchen, spacious living area and an accessible bathroom. The bathroom often includes a walk-in shower to wet room for ease of use.

The apartments also offer security features for added peace of mind, including an emergency pull cord and grab handles.

In addition, independent living schemes offer a sense of community, privacy and safety. They often have communal spaces, including communal lounges, laundry rooms and landscaped gardens. They also feature secure entry systems and on-site parking.

independent living scheme

How Does It Differ From A Care Home?

Care homes offer residential accommodation to elderly individuals that need additional support and care in their daily lives. They are designed for people who can no longer live independently.

In care homes, elderly residents are looked after according to their needs. This usually includes personal care (bathing, toileting and dressing), administering medication, providing meals and helping with mobility.

Some may only need help with some aspects of their daily care but may be able to do some tasks without help.

Pros And Cons Of Independent Living Schemes

Independent living schemes have a range of benefits! Especially Accent Housing’s independent living schemes. They provide future-proofed accommodation and lifetime tenancies for seniors that want to remain independent yet have peace of mind.

Sheltered housing also offers a great sense of community and a social aspect, with regular resident activities and events and shared communal spaces. Some of our living schemes also accommodate couples.

Each scheme has a friendly scheme manager that is always on hand to help and they have a secure environment. Some include a sheltered housing warden onsite or on-call to give residents extra security.

These independent living schemes are usually ideally located close to transport links, amenities and shops. And they are affordable!

If you are looking for an elderly living option that encourages independence whilst providing safety and peace of mind, then independent living schemes are right for you.

The only real downside is that there is no on-site medical professionals or carers. However, that’s not to say you can’t transition to higher levels of care whilst living in sheltered accommodation. There is always the option to hire home carers.

In fact, living in sheltered accommodation and hiring home carers to assist with daily tasks is often a much more affordable alternative to care homes.

In some areas, the demand for independent living schemes far outweighs the schemes available. This means there can be waiting lists and it may be tricky to find sheltered accommodation in your area.

However, Accent Housing offers a wide range of sheltered living across the North, East and South of England. We may be able to find an independent living scheme near you!

Pros And Cons Of Care Homes

If you or your elderly relative can no longer live alone and requires daily care and support, a residential care home may be the better option.

Care homes offer round-the-clock care to those who need it. They have care professionals who carry out all manner of care, including personal care, medication administration, nutritious meals and medical care.

Companionship is also a benefit of living in a care home. As is the peace of mind that the individual and their family receive.

Unfortunately, residential care homes can be extremely costly. And there are very rarely options for double rooms, meaning elderly couples often have to separate.

In addition, the vast majority of care homes only offer a private room rather than an apartment/flat. And downsizing from a home to a room can be very difficult for many people.  

Some seniors struggle to adjust to the significant changes that come with living in a care home, and many miss their independence. Also, finding a care home close to family can be difficult and waiting lists are often very long.

Finding An Independent Living Scheme

If you are considering moving to an independent living scheme, or if you think your elderly loved one would be happier living in an independent living scheme, we may be able to help.

Accent Housing provides sheltered accommodation throughout England. Check out our sheltered living schemes here.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions, get in touch with the Accent Housing team today. You can call us on 0345 678 0555 or email us at

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