– Extra care housing (ECH) is housing for older people that aims to provide flexible care while fostering independence. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact that some of the successes and failures in improving accessibility during remodelling had on care provision, in order to offer advice to social housing providers planning to remodel existing properties into ECH.
– The data consisted of an inventory of accessibility features and assistive technology (AT) items in flats and common areas. The data were drawn from ten ECH schemes in different regions of England.
– Most of the AT found was low-technology supporting independence, such as grabbers; some was specific to care provision, such as hoists. Even after remodelling, the design and layout of most buildings did not fully comply with accessibility standards, leading to increased provision of care for some tenants: a care-negative situation.
– This multidisciplinary, original research on remodelling into ECH presents successful examples of accessibility, AT and care integration that required active tenant involvement and creative design input from care staff, architects and builders who were AT and accessibility aware. It is argued that for new and remodelled ECH buildings to be care-neutral, designers need to work towards the most inclusive model of ECH.