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Extra care flats for the elderly

An "extra care" housing scheme to provide 2,000 flats for old and vulnerable people has received £80m of government funding.

The flats, to be built on 25 sites around England, will enable the elderly and those with dementia and long-term conditions to live in their own homes.

The Department of Health said people who are unable to continue to live at home have traditionally had their choices limited to care homes, creating a number of problems, including couples finding they can no longer live together.

The "extra care" idea means that residents can enjoy greater privacy, dignity and independence, couples can stay together, and social and leisure opportunities are more easily accessible, while also giving homeowners a chance to keep some of the equity in their property.

Health and Care Minister Ivan Lewis and Sir Michael Parkinson have just presented one of the sites, in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, with a cheque for £3.8m.

Mr Lewis said: "Too often I hear of cases where a couple who have been together for over 50 years are forced apart. I want to change that. Extra care housing will give people a choice about how and where they choose to spend their later life."

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Do you welcome these new "extra care" homes? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Absolutely not. I am a CPN working with AD patients and if Mr Lewis had done his homework regarding his illness, he would know that taking someone out of their home and placing them in another environment can be detrimental, with their mental health quickly deteriorating and a high risk of "wandering" due to disorientation. Are there going to be overnight wardens there to deal with nocturnal restlessness? The only way this would work is if patients in the very early stages were offered this accommodation in conjunction with the anticholinesterase medications, which, ironically, due to NICE guidelines, cannot be prescribed in early AD! In this area, I am not aware of any health specialists in dementia being asked their opinion as they are currently building these 'extra care' flats in Renfrewshire too." - Donna Lamont, Paisley