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STEPS to Stay Independent

Lead service provider/commissioner


East Sussex County Council

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project evaluation

Type of evaluation:

Survey; Interviews

Prevention service description

East Sussex has moved from a model where housing support was limited to particular buildings,to one which works across districts. During a cross-county consultation with older people in 2011 it it emerged that there was a perception among East Sussex’s older residents that housing support services were associated with social housing. Owner occupiers and older people in private rental properties felt removed from services and wanted an independent service provided by the county council. This led to the creation of STEPS which is a short-term, floating service open to older people aged 65 and over, which is free and confidential. Adult Social Care were the main referral point in 2013/14.

The service aims to support older people to retain or regain independent living skills and thus prevent them from needing more costly interventions or needing to leave their homes. The support offered will depend on the needs identified by the older people but can involve liaison with landlords or mortgage companies; support to claim benefits or provision of specialist debt advice and support; support with neighbour disputes, and connecting older people with local groups, including healthy living activities, provided in the community. It also incorporates free assessments and support to ensure that the homes of older people are kept safe and warm. Older people are supported to achieve the outcomes they identify as important to them with the aim of moving on once these outcomes have been achieved.

Intervention/service type:

Housing support

Target client group(s):

Older people; Carers

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