Almshouses Directory in U.K.
Jobs and employment in almshouses may include nurses, geriatric nurses, nursing assistants, housekeeping and social welfare professionals.
Part of British history, almshouses have been in existence more than 1000 years. Almshouse dwellings are intended to provide shelter and an independent life for elderly people of limited means. The first almshouse of record was founded in York in the 10th century by King Athelstan. Each almshouse is an independent charity, and its trustees are volunteers from the community.
The aims of almshouses are to give needy people, usually the elderly, a place to live independently and remain in their local communities while still maintaining a decent standard of living. In the UK, there are about 1800 separate charaties, which cover some 2600 groups. They provide almshouse accommodation for about 36,000 people. Almshouses provide help and support that is as important today as it was at the beginning of the tradition, over 1000 years ago.
In general, goals of Almshouses are to provide:
- Independent living, with some administrative suport from a warden
- Emergency alarm systems
- No rent to pay, perhaps a maintenance contribution that may be paid by housing benefit.
- No additional utility bills.
- Some fixtures such as refrigerators and carpeting.
- Use of laundry machines.
- No responsibilty for repairs or maintenance.
Generally, almshouses encourage their residents to live independently, however usually support can be offered when problems or crises arise. Wardens and staff teams can help in practical ways and are ready to give advice, such as regarding welfare benefits. Almshouses also can help elderly residents with problems of older age, such as loneliness, insecurity, immobility and disability, and physical and mental decline. Almshouse staff try to cultivate a sense of belonging and community.
Almshouses have limited budgets, which are generally derived from private charity and managed by charitable trusts. Grants from almshouse trusts can sometimes be provided to individuals and organizations.
Different almshouses have differing criteria for admissions: some are faith/religion based and require that the applicant be a member of a church group; other almshouses are specifically set up to serve a particular locality; also there may be differing standards of age, economic need and physical disability for entry to specific facilities.
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