Housing service offering help to older people set to be rolled out across Cambridgeshire

Audrey Taylor with her youngest daughter Anne.

Audrey Taylor with her youngest daughter Anne. - Credit: Archant

A new service which offers specialist housing information and advice to older people is being rolled out by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The Housing Options for Older People (HOOP) web based tool will provide links to different local partners in those areas.

It follows a successful seven-month trial in South Cambridgeshire last year, working alongside EAC FirstStop.

Cllr Anna Bailey, chairwoman of the adults committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We want all people to live in their own homes for as long as possible and are committed to helping them do that.

“The HOOP tool encourages older people to think about how well their home suits them at an early stage before they reach a crisis and provides solutions to help them do this.”

Moving house into sheltered accommodation in Cottenham in January has made all the difference to Audrey Taylor who says she is now “just loving life”.

The 82-year-old had lived in Cottenham most of her life including 57 years in the same house with her husband.

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But when he suddenly died six years ago, she felt she could no longer stay there.

“There was nobody I could really make contact with,” she said. “I would sometimes go for 24 hours without seeing a human being.”

After contacting the county council, she had a home visit from an occupational therapist and a HOOP project worker who helped her make a home link application and secure a bungalow in Cottenham.

She now enjoys going to weekly coffee mornings and regular meals at the community hall.

“I was absolutely thrilled when they got in touch with me to say there was a bungalow for me to move into,” Audrey said. “Here I can look out the window and watch the children go by to school in the mornings. The outlook is so pleasant.”

John Galvin, EAC FirstStop chief executive, said: “Last year’s pilot HOOP service in South Cambs showed the benefits of having just one place to go for information and guidance on later life housing options. We look forward to working with our new partners to roll the service out across the County.”

HOOP can be accessed online or by telephone.

For more information, call 0800 310 2031 or visit hoop.eac.org.uk.

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