Plan for Wigan elderly and vulnerable to live independently

The now-closed Shevington Community Primary School
The now-closed Shevington Community Primary School
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A specialised housing plan to keep elderly and vulnerable residents independent in their own homes for longer and active in the community is being developed.

Wigan Council is currently working on the plan to develop more extra care housing facilities across the borough and is looking at the possibility of building a new facility on the former Shevington Primary School site, which would include a Start Well offer for local children and families.

Stuart Cowley

Stuart Cowley

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Extra care housing is a type of specialised housing that provides independence and choice to people with varying levels of additional needs, enabling them to remain in their own homes while reducing demand for health and social care services.

The developments usually compromise of a number of apartments with communal areas and outside space but can include houses and bungalows.

This type of housing provides 24-hour on-site support, can include access to meals, leisure and wellbeing facilities and provides a safe environment for residents.

While independently living in an extra care facility, residents are encouraged to access local facilities which keeps them healthy and reduces social isolation.

The facilities will also be multi-generational, building on the evidenced benefits of bringing together older and younger people, working closely with local nurseries and schools.

Communal space will be designed around the need of the local area with the aim of bringing in a vibrant range of opportunities for example a cinema room, games room, table-tennis, a craft space for local groups, ensuring the facility is accessible for the whole community.

There are already three extra care developments across the borough which are thriving community assets.

Although historically focused on the needs of older people, the council is looking at developing facilities which meet the needs of any resident who would benefit from additional support while still living independently and accessing the community.

Stuart Cowley, director for adult social care and health at Wigan Council, said: “Valued, connected and resilient people, living in the right home, with the right support, means they are happier, healthier and more independent.

“Extra care is a fantastic way to support people to have great lives and reduce unnecessary admissions to hospital and residential care.

“Despite an ageing population and an increased volume of complex cases our adult social care is on budget which is testament to the successful transformation of services through The Deal.”

As part of the consultation that took place about the reorganisation of primary school provision in Shevington, local people said the area had an ageing population and needed a better offer.

The council will be engaging with local residents to gather their thoughts on the plans for the Shevington development in the Spring.

Shevington Community Primary School on Miles Lane closed last year after it was concluded that the area only needed two rather than three schools for four to 11-year-olds.

Parts of the building have already been converted into housing and a business.