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Glossary of Terms


Abbeyfield Houses

Abbeyfield Houses are run by voluntary organisations and offer supported housing for between 6 and 12 older people. A majority are owned and managed by independent local Abbeyfield Societies, but a gr.... read more

Advice & information services

Services that offer advice and/or information to older people to help them deal with problems in their home, or choose, find and afford whatever alternative housing, care or support they are looking f.... read more


An advocate is someone who, with your permission, will act independently on your behalf and represent your views and interests to another party, such as a care home, the NHS, the council, or a member .... read more

Age-exclusive housing

Because of the recent trend away from providing 'wardens' or Scheme Managers in traditional sheltered and retirement housing schemes, EAC has introduced the new description 'age-exclusive housing' for.... read more


Almshouses are independent local charitable trusts that provide affordable housing for older people in need. Most are for older people living in a specific geographical area or connected with a partic.... read more


The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) is the main body representing the retirement community sector in the UK. Retirement communities may also be referred to as retirement villages; ext.... read more


The Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM), represents 55 organisations which, between them, manage just over 100,000 leasehold retirement properties. Aims of the ARHM Promote hi.... read more

Assisted living

A name initially introduced from the United States to describe a form of 'housing with care' designed for older people, and now adopted by a number of housing developers for both the private and renta.... read more

Assistive technology

Assistive technology promotes greater independence for people with disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing. A.... read more

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a welfare benefit paid by the Department for Work & Pensions. It is not means tested, is tax free, doesn’t depend on National Insurance contributions, and does not count a.... read more


Care home

A residential setting where a number of older people live, usually in single rooms, and have access to on-site care services. Since April 2002 all homes in England, Scotland and Wales are known as ‘ca.... read more

Care Home Specialisms

All care homes across the UK must inform their regulatory body what type of care they are able to provide. The conditions that care homes are able to care for are varied but the most common are: older.... read more

Care Period

As well as long-term care permanent placements some care homes will offer different lengths of stay depending on your care needs. Temporary care, also known as respite care, can provide carers with a .... read more

Care plan

A care plan is a written statement of your individual assessed needs identified during a Community Care Assessment. It sets out what support you should get, why, when, and details of who is meant to p.... read more

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.Its job is to make sure that care provided by hospitals, dentists, ambulances, care hom.... read more


A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Anyone can become a carer.... read more

Centre for Housing and Support

The Centre for Housing and Support (formerly known as CSHS) is at the forefront of national training provision for professionals working in housing-related support. By delivering a framework of high-q.... read more

Choice based lettings

Choice-based lettings are the way most local councils and housing associations now let their properties. Although there are differences between areas, the common feature is that once you have register.... read more

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1 April 2013. CCGs are: Membership bodies, with local.... read more

Close care housing

Close Care schemes are a relatively new concept and consist of independent flats or bungalows built on the same site as a care home. Residents often have some services (such as cleaning) included in t.... read more


Cohousing communities are created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, private home but residents come together to manage their community and share activities. Cohousing is.... read more

Community Alarm

Carelines, Emergency Alarms or Community Alarms are different names for a well established technology that enables you to call for help if you fall, or are taken ill or suspect an intruder. They work .... read more

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is a scheme offered through your local council and is intended to reduce the amount of Council Tax payable by those on a low-income or in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.... read more

Court of Protection

The Court of Protection is responsible for: deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for .... read more


Day Centre

A service managed by the local council, NHS or voluntary or private body, where people who are socially isolated can attend during the day to meet other people, have meals and take part .... read more

Direct Payments

Following an assessment of your care needs, and of your financial situation, your local council may offer help in the form of Direct Payments. This means they will pay you, or a person that you nomina.... read more

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a non-means tested,non-taxable, allowance for people under 65 years, who are physically or mentally disabled and need either personal care or help with mobility or.... read more

Disabled Facilities Grant

Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a means-tested grant that enables the home of disabled homeowners and private tenants to be adapted to meet their needs, with for example, a walk-in shower or stair .... read more

Domiciliary Care

Home care or Domiciliary Care is care provided in an individual’s home, normally of a personal nature such help with dressing, washing or toileting. It can be arranged by Social Services following an .... read more


Enduring Power of Attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney is the legal ability to manage someone’s financial affairs on their behalf. It applies to people who do not have the mental capacity to decide on their financial matters, .... read more

Enhanced Sheltered Housing

Provides residents with the independence of having their own front door and self-contained flat whilst also having access to some on-site support service. Most developments will have scheme manager an.... read more

Equity release

There are a number of financial products or 'plans' which help older home owners to turn some of the value of their homes into cash - a lump sum, regular extra income, or sometimes both. There are dif.... read more


Erosh is the national consortium for sheltered and retirement housing. It is a registered charity with influential membership across the UK drawn from local authorities, housing associations and relat.... read more

Extra care housing

New forms of sheltered housing and retirement housing have been pioneered in recent years, to cater for older people who are becoming more frail and less able to do everything for themselves. Extra C.... read more


Fairer Charging

Fairer Charging is the policy that governs the way local councils operate their means tested financial assistance to help pay for services to older people in their own homes.Social Services Fairer Cha.... read more


The freeholder of a property owns it outright, including the land it’s built on. If you buy a freehold, you are responsible for maintaining your property and land, so you’ll need to budget for these .... read more


Ground Rent

An ongoing cost that can apply to retirement leasehold property is ground rent. This is paid to the freeholder that owns the ground on which your property is built. This cost is generally lower than t.... read more


Home care

Also know as domiciliary care, home care is provided in an individual’s home and is normally of a personal nature – help with dressing, washing, toileting etc. Can be arranged by Social Services f.... read more

Home care agency

A home care agency is an agency that provides care workers to help you at home. The agency might be a private company or a charity. The agency can be employed by the council to provide you with .... read more

Home Improvement Agency

Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) are local not for profit organisations funded and supported by local and central government. They provide advice, support and assistance to elderly, disabled and vulne.... read more

Home services

Services to help older people live independently at home. On the HousingCare website, EAC maintain its own directory of homes services. The directory includes nearly 8,000 services, most of them in En.... read more

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

The HCA is responsible for: increasing the number of new homes that are built in England, including affordable homes and homes for market sale or rent improving existing affordable homes a.... read more


In Homeshare, someone who needs a small amount of help to live independently in their own home is matched with someone who has a housing need and can provide support or companionship. Homeshare schem.... read more


HOOP is shorthand for EAC's Housing Options for Older People tool HOOP was designed to help older people take stock of their present living and housing situation, including any problems or worries.... read more

Hospice care

The Charity Hospice UK explains as follows: Hospice care seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of adults and children with a life-limiting or terminal illness, helping them live as fu.... read more

Housing Association

Housing Associations are independent not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable homes (for rent or to purchase) for people in need. Housing Associations that have registered with the Homes a.... read more

Housing Awards

Short for the EAC National Housing for Older People Awards, the only housing awards nominated by residents. Each year EAC celebrates the best examples of housing for later life. All housing schemes.... read more

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit (HB) provides financial help towards rent and some service charges for private, local authority and housing association tenants, and it is payable either to the claimant or to the land.... read more

Housing LIN

The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), formerly responsible for managing the Department of Health's (DH) Extra Care Housing capital programme, is the leading 'knowledge hub' for a growing.... read more

Housing Options

Housing Options is a key part of the work that EAC and FirstStop do. Through the advice line and our national database of sheltered/retirement housing schemes across the UK we advise on a range of dif.... read more

Housing with support

A term used by EAC to include both sheltered and retirement housing, whether for renting or owner-occupation. Housing with support means having your own flat or bungalow in a block, or on a small es.... read more


Independent Financial Adviser

Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs are professionals who offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market.  IFA.... read more

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) is a role created by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. A local council or NHS body has a duty to involve an IMCA when a vulnerable person who lacks mental c.... read more

Intermediate Care

Intermediate care includes a range of short-term treatment or rehabilitative services designed to promote independence, reduce the length of time you might be in hospital unnecessarily, or help yo.... read more


Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney is a provision created by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is the legal document which states that a third party is able to have control over someone’s affairs, including dec.... read more


Nearly all retirement and sheltered housing properties to buy will be only available on a leasehold basis. For many older people, this will be the first time they have purchased a leasehold property s.... read more

Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)

LEASE, The Leasehold Advisory Service, is a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) funded by Government to provide free legal advice to leaseholders, landlords, professional advisers, managers and others.... read more

Leasehold Schemes for the Elderly

Leasehold Schemes for the Elderly (LSE) are run by a small number housing associations and involve you buying a proportion (e.g. 70%) of the equity of the property, the remaining portion being owned b.... read more


An agreement giving the right to occupy accommodation. Licenses are used by many almshouses charities, some Abbeyfield Societies, some charities and also for private lettings. Licenses provide less se.... read more

Life Interest Plan

Life Interest Plans offer the opportunity to purchase the right to occupy a retirement property for life, or for both of your lifetimes, in the case of couples. This can reduce substantially the capit.... read more



Trade bodies that housing and care providers can choose to become members of on a voluntary basis. These organisations generally have a code of practice that their members must follow and any breach o.... read more

Mixed tenure

A small number of retirement and housing schemes offer a choice of tenure. Typically you might be able to buy outright, rent, or opt to part buy your property on a 'shared owndership' basis with the p.... read more


Needs Assessment

An assessment of your care and support needs, commonly referred to as a 'needs assessment' is often done by a social worker and is available to anybody who feels that they may benefit from some assist.... read more

Nursing Care

In terms of care home funding, tasks identified by a nursing needs assessment as those that need to carried out or supervised by a qualified nurse – injections, dressings etc. Will be paid for by the .... read more

Nursing home

Apart from in Northern Ireland where it is still used, the term nursing home has been replaced by care home with nursing. Homes where nursing is not provided, formerly known as residential care homes,.... read more


Office of the Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) protects people in England and Wales who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves, such as about their health and finance. .... read more


Park Homes

Park homes are residential mobile homes, some resembling bungalows and others closer to traditional caravans. Currently there are about 250,000 people living in park homes on more than 1700 sites in E.... read more

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a means tested benefit that contributes towards a guaranteed level of income for people aged 60 and over. From 2010 the age from which you will be able to get Pension Credit will gra.... read more

Pension Service

Part of the Department for Work and Pensions set up to improve the service you receive, whether you are already a pensioner or are planning for your retirement, no matter how far off it might be. The .... read more

Personal Care

Personal Care includes: assistance with dressing, feeding, washing and toileting, as well as advice, encouragement and emotional and psychological support. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) de.... read more

Personal Health Budget

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. The aim is to give people with long-term c.... read more

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64..... read more

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is someone who has the legal ability to manage someone’s financial affairs on their behalf. It applies to people who have the mental capacity to decide on their financial matters.... read more

Private (Market) Rent

Private rentals are generally provided by commercial landlords. As a tenant you have the right to occupy the property as your home for a specified length of time which can then often roll on until one.... read more


Quality of Information Mark

The QI Mark is awarded to individual schemes following submission to EAC of a fully completed QI Mark questionnaire, and is valid for 24 months. The QI Mark, available for all forms of retirement h.... read more


Registered social landlord

The new general name for not-for-profit housing providers approved and regulated by Government through the Homes & Communities Agency. The vast majority of Registered Social Landlords are also known a.... read more

Resident Consultation Service

A shorthand for EAC's Resident Consultation Service, an effective and stimulating tool to consult residents of housing for later life. The RCS delivers clear feedback to housing providers on how t.... read more

Residential care home

Apart from in Northern Ireland where it is still used, residential care homes are now generally referred to simply as care homes. And what used to be called nursing homes are now called care homes wit.... read more

Residents Association

A Residents Association is a democratically elected and recognised body of residents in sheltered housing or retirement housing that represents all or most of the residents.... read more

Respite care

Short term care, usually in a care home, but possibly at home with the assistance of professional carers. People may consider respite care for a number of reasons: after a stay in hospital, while .... read more

Retirement housing

Housing developments of a similar type to sheltered housing (see Glossary entry), but built for sale, usually on a leasehold basis in England, freehold in Scotland. Referred to in our Accommodation Di.... read more

Retirement village

An increasingly popular concept, but unfortunately lacking any single, clear definition. Essentially anything from an estate to a full blown village-sized development of bungalows, flats or houses, in.... read more


Scheme manager

The job title of the person responsible for managing a sheltered or retirement housing scheme. Also known as the Warden or House Manager. Some housing schemes have a resident scheme manager and a 24.... read more

Service and support charges

The services that are provided in retirement housing are paid for through a service charge. If you are renting, the service charge will be included in your rent, if you have bought the property leaseh.... read more

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is a way of buying a stake in a property if you cannot afford to buy it outright - or indeed if you want to don't want to invest all the proceeeds of selling your current home on a ne.... read more

Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing (also known as retirement housing) means having your own flat or bungalow in a block, or on a small estate, where all the other residents are older people (usually over 55). With a f.... read more

Social landlord

A not-for-profit housing provider, such as a council or housing association who will charge an affordable rent which can be covered, for those on a low income, by Housing Benefit..... read more

Social Services

Care and support services, also known as social care services, help people who are in need of practical support due to illness, disability, old age or a low income.  Care and support services could i.... read more

State Retirement Pension

The State Retirement Pension is paid to people who have reached the state retirement age. The amount you receive will depend on the number of years of national insurance contributions you have paid or.... read more

Supporting People

The Supporting People Grant covers the support provided by an emergency alarm service and/or the Scheme Manager. This support can include emergency help, emotional advice, information and advice about.... read more



Different alarm systems are available for your home, some of which can let a family member, friend, neighbour, nurse or warden (if you're in sheltered housing) know by phone when there's something wro.... read more

The Care Act

Under the Care Act, local authorities have new functions. This is to make sure that people who live in their areas: receive services that prevent their care needs from becoming more serious, or.... read more

Transfer Charges and Exit fees

When selling a retirement leasehold property, as well as the usual estate agent fees and legal costs, you may be expected to pay an ‘exit fee’ to the managing agents of the retirement development. The.... read more



The Accommodation Search in HousingCare.org enables you to search for housing schemes where a vacancy exists. Landlords and managers of sheltered and retirement housing are encouraged use this vacancy.... read more



The job title of the person responsible for managing a sheltered or retirement housing scheme - now more commonly known as a Scheme Manager or House Manager. Some housing schemes have a resident war.... read more