Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Abbeyfield for?
Anyone over pensionable age who does not wish to live alone at home. Particular consideration is given to local people. Abbeyfield strives to practise equal opportunities and thus is open to all, regardless of race, gender, religious belief and ethnic origin. Preference may be given to applicants in greatest need and those with local connections.
What does it cost?
Please get in touch to discuss our prices and what we could currently offer. Low income is not a bar to coming to Abbeyfield. You may be entitled to claim Benefits or Housing Benefit when living in an Abbeyfield supported sheltered house. The level of your savings may affect your entitlement to benefit. Our Society, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux or the Pension Service (tel: 0800 731 7898) may be able to offer advice on the best options for residents.
Will you need to know my financial circumstances?
We will need to ask how you will meet the charges and request that you sign an understanding agreement. All personal information is always treated in the strictest confidence. You may wish to ask for help in claiming certain benefits. If not, your privacy will be respected.
What is a ‘sponsor’ or representative?
We ask residents to nominate a trusted relative, friend or professional adviser to be a sponsor or representative who can be contacted and consulted in case of emergency. No financial involvement is required; it is the sponsor’s continuing interest and support that is important. The role of the sponsor or advocate is to support you, ensure that your interests are met and to liaise on your behalf with us, especially in times of illness.
Will my room be decorated and furnished?
Your room will have a carpet, curtains and storage and be in good condition before you arrive.. You will bring your own furniture to your room, and with our agreement may change our furnishings and decor at your expense.
Do I look after my own room?
Cleaning your room is your own responsibility, but you can engage domestic help at your own cost if you wish.
Cooking is a real chore and I need a special diet. Can you help?
We employ a house manager and staff who are responsible for providing two meals each day. Residents will usually prepare of their own breakfasts – with items supplied by the house manager. This means that you can get up and eat breakfast when you wish. Special diets can usually be accommodated. Talk about your particular needs with the house manager or with a committee member of the house.
Will I have to share a bathroom?
No - the en-suite facilities include your own shower, toilet and washbasin.
Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is NOT permitted within the house but you may smoke in the garden away from the entrance doors.
Are the rules strict?
Abbeyfield will be your home. There are no specific rules but you do need to think of others and be courteous in respecting their needs and boundaries. You will also be sharing some facilities (e.g. laundry and stair-lifts) which need to be left as you would wish to find them and common areas need to be kept clear and tidy for safety reasons.
Could I bring my pet?
We are not normally able to accept pets but you may be able to bring smaller ones such as fish; talk to us and we’ll see what we can do.
What about a telephone and television?
Our houses have a phone point in each room and you will need to install a phone at your own expense in order to use the emergency call system. You can use your own TV within your room.
How will I know if an Abbeyfield house will suit me?
Come and visit, talk to our staff, residents and committee members, but you can really find out by coming to try us for two weeks.
What happens if I become ill?
Minor illnesses may be managed within our houses. Residents are able to buy in care services (privately or through social services departments with appropriate care package agreements) should they need them. If you have to stay in hospital for any reason, it will be taken for granted that you will return to your room in Abbeyfield when you are well enough. Should you require long-term nursing care, then other arrangements may have to be made in consultation with you, your sponsor, family or friends and the local health authority. If you have some form of frailty or disability, we will discuss this with you when you visit to ensure that we would be able to offer sufficient support and that it would be safe for you to live in our house.
Do all Abbeyfield Societies operate in the same way?
We are all bound by Abbeyfield’s guiding principles; but otherwise Societies are locally managed so that they can be responsive to local needs and conditions.
How do I make a complaint?
We try to provide the best quality of service but inevitably things go wrong from time to time. We want to put them right as quickly as possible. If you feel able to do so, please speak to a member of staff or one of our House Committee members as soon as conveniently possible to explain your concerns or what needs doing. If instead you want to speak informally to someone else about a particular individual, our Secretary will be able to put you in touch with an appropriate contact and/or provide a copy of our Complaints Policy to help decide how best to proceed.
Should you feel that you must make a formal complaint, please make this clear and write or email the details to
The Secretary, The Abbeyfield Lytham St Annes Society Ltd, 1 Park Avenue, Lytham St Annes FY8 5QU - email:firstname.lastname@example.org .
Your complaint will be formally acknowledged and we will provide a copy of the Complaints Policy if you have not already had one. This explains the steps and process we will follow and the options open to you at each stage.