Sheltered housing for older people
Take into consideration
- to municipality run sheltered housing you seek by contacting the social welfare services of your municipality
- If you get yourself a place in a private sheltered housing unit, you will pay the full cost
Sheltered housing comes in many forms. You may rent or in some cases buy a flat or a room in a sheltered housing unit.
You can apply for a pensioner’s housing allowance and care allowance to pay for your housing and living costs. They are granted by Kela. If you buy cleaning or other services for your flat, apply to the tax office for domestic help credit.
Sheltered housing comes in many forms. You may rent or in some cases buy a flat in a sheltered housing unit. Flats or rooms always have separate toilets, and staff take care of your wellbeing. Sheltered housing includes different service packages at different prices. You can also purchase, for example, the housing's meal, housecleaning and care services.
The help and support will be fitted to your needs. You can get help regularly or when you need it. Sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance means that care is available round the clock.
Sheltered housing is organised by municipalities, associations and companies. The prices and services of different providers vary. To get into sheltered housing organised by the municipality, contact the municipality's social services.
Living in a sheltered house is suitable for anyone who needs help and support in their everyday lives as they age or feels alone or unsafe in their current home. You will have a private flat or a room with your own toilet, but you can meet other residents in the building’s common areas and in the dining room.
The personnel will support you with your housing needs, eating and use of health services as you need. Joint activities and recreation are organised for the older people living in the unit.
Sheltered housing units serve the people who live in them and often also other older people living nearby. For example, they may offer service packages, meals, help with cleaning and doing laundry and organise events and parties where everyone can join in.
The services may include
- safety phones and alarm services
- weekly activities led by an instructor at a service centre
- bathing in the sauna on your own or with help
- using a gym and
- the possibility of organising your own parties in the common areas or the dining room.
Meals may mean breakfast, lunch and dinner, which you may buy separately or under a monthly contract.
You may usually purchase cleaning and household services to your sheltered housing unit without having to pay VAT. You may also claim tax credit for household expenses for the services you have purchased.
A municipality may run sheltered housing units and nursing homes itself, or buy these services from companies or non-governmental organisations . A municipality may also give service vouchers to older people, who can use the vouchers to pay for the cost of living in sheltered housing.
When you use a service voucher, you also have to pay the excess to the service provider. This means you pay the difference between the value of the service voucher and the price charged for the service. The value of the service voucher is based on your income.
In a sheltered housing unit, you will pay rent or a fee for your flat. You will also pay the price shown on the price list for the services that you use. The fees for sheltered housing are determined according to the customer's needs and based on whether the service is provided by the municipality itself, purchased as a procured service or purchased with a service voucher. More detailed information is available at your municipal department of social services.
If you get yourself a place in a private sheltered housing unit or a nursing home, you will pay the full cost. You should talk to the housing unit about the services you will need before you move in. This way, the total price of living there will not come as a surprise for you.
You can access sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance with care available to you around the clock. Contact the municipal department of social services to determine your situation and needs in cooperation with professionals in different fields. The views of the older person and their family are always listened to and respected when carrying out this assessment.
Ín sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance, special attention is paid to
- maintaining the older person’s functional capacity and social networks
- eating properly
- taking medicines safely
- oral health and
- older people’s safety.
Municipalities offer sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance in their own operating units.
They may also buy this service from companies or organisations, or older people can buy the services with service vouchers.
You can apply for a place in sheltered housing if living at home is no longer possible even with the help of the support measures of home care. To have your service need assessed, contact the social services of your municipality. Based on the service need assessment, a service plan will be drawn up and your need for a place in care will be recorded in it.
The updated plan will serve as the basis for agreeing on sheltered housing or some other housing solution suitable for your needs.
Ultimately, the municipality will decide what kind of sheltered apartment you get and what kind of services you are entitled to. However, the municipality must also take into account your personal opinions and your individual situation. The municipality must organise the place of care within three months. In urgent situations, you may receive the services you need even before the service plan has been drawn up.
There are no rules for private service providers on the pricing of sheltered housing for older people. Private service providers therefore decide their prices themselves. However, the prices must always be reasonable. The prices must also be indicated as clearly, unambiguously and transparently as possible.
If you wish to buy sheltered housing directly from a private service provider, familiarise yourself carefully with the terms and conditions of agreement. Find out the prices, how they are formed and what services they include. Compare the services and prices of different service providers.
Sometimes the municipality organises the services by purchasing them from a private service provider. In that case, the customer is charged the same fees and compensation as for the corresponding services provided by the municipality itself.
The parties producing sheltered housing must themselves supervise, develop and follow the quality of their services. The unit providing the service must draw up a public self-monitoring plan to support the supervision of its operations. The implementation of the service must be monitored regularly and the activities must be developed on the basis of the feedback received from customers and personnel.
The municipality must ensure that those who need sheltered housing for older people receive services in accordance with their service plan. The municipality must also ensure that an individual unit providing the service is capable of providing the care and services needed by that person.
At a regional level, sheltered housing for older people is supervised by the regional state administrative agencies. The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira in turn guides the regional state administrative agencies to ensure that supervision is as uniform as possible everywhere in Finland.