Where can you go for more help?
If you’ve a specific challenge, these organisations may be able to help.
Age UK. The biggest charity working with older people and a provider of services as well as information.
Age Scotland. Charity focusing on supporting older people in Scotland.
Independent Age. Charity that offers advice, a helpline and a telephone service to keep in touch with older people.
Hospice UK National charity for hospice care, supporting over 200 hospices in the UK. Parent of Dying Matters.
Care Quality Commission. The organisation in England charged with assessing the quality of services delivered by the NHS, care homes and more. Provides ratings for establishments that have been visited.
Carers UK. Campaigning and support group for carers at every stage of life.
Centre for Ageing Better Campaigning group with interesting reports on facilities and aids to improve life as we age.
Older people ageing and caring. Healthy ageing and caring advice from the NHS.
The Abbeyfield Society. National charity helping to alleviate loneliness in older people by providing care, support and housing.
Following the headlines
The UK media is growing its coverage of age-related news and discussions.
- The Telegraph tends to focus on financial issues, including the cost of care, and has a regular column answering questions about pensions. (It also has the least imaginative picture editor who tends to reuse the wrinkly hands approach.) You will need to pay for a subscription to read most articles.
- The Times is also behind a paywall, and is increasingly interested in eldercare issues, especially finance.
- The Guardian has been reporting on social care and other factors around the care of older people for some time, and has relevant articles most days.
- The Mail and The Express tend to look for health scare stories, so it’s worth reading those in association with the two Behind the Headlines sites mentioned below for a more rounded picture.
All of these media organisations tend to focus on what’s happening in England in care and the NHS. Scottish news is easier to find in regional press.
The BBC website regularly covers health and care stories from around the UK.
- NHS Behind the Headlines Great site analysing health stories appearing in the media and advising whether there’s really something to worry about.
- British Heart Foundation Behind the Headlines Similar purpose to the the NHS version, explaining news stories and giving a balanced view from experts.
Patient. A website aimed at helping people manage their own health better. Full of useful blogs and articles featuring well-known media medics, many of which are relevant to older people. Worth signing up for the newsletter.
Heatwave planning. Guidance for NHS and care providers in England to protect the vulnerable in heatwaves, giving useful tips and some insight into what we should be able to expect from services.
Alzheimers Society. Helpful on all aspects of dementia.
Lewy Body organisation. Charity focusing on Lewy Body dementia.
John’s Campaign. Founded with the goal to enable families to spend more time with relatives with dementia while in hospital. The website lists institutions that have and have not signed up to a pledge to make family carers welcome.
Patients Association An independent, campaigning patient charity offering some useful advice on topics such as making complaints, advance decisions and next of kin status.
NHS Wales Advice on medical topics and living well, plus finding local services.
NHS Inform in Scotland Helping you to make the right healthcare choices.
Macular Society Beating the fear and isolation of macular disease with world-class research, and the best advice and support.
Healthwatch England Independent champion for people using health and social care services in England.
Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman Making a complaint about NHS England and other government departments.
The Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service Patient complaints adjudication service about private healthcare providers.
Our guide to claiming NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. Theoretically the NHS funds the care of anyone with primary health needs, and our guide can help you through the process.
BeaconCHC Social enterprise offering consumers free advice, clear info & expert casework on NHS continuing healthcare funding Working in partnership with key charities and the NHS.
Advice on specific health issues
As well as the NHS website, there are charities in the UK focused on a wide range of physical, mental and emotional issues. If it’s not listed here, you will probably find the support group that can help simply by using a search engine.
Diabetes UK. Advice for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
British Heart Foundation. Advice, including recipes, and fundraising for research on heart-related matters.
Parkinsons UK. Advice and support for those living with Parkinson’s.
Mental Health Foundation. Includes a helpline for anyone needing urgent support.
HourGlass. Charity dedicated to stopping abuse for safer ageing.
The cost of care. A calculator for the cost of care and nursing homes in England, provided by Which?
Care UK. UK’s largest independent provider of care. Search locally for care providers.
Care Sourcer. An online care-matching service set up by ex-care managers.
Good Care Guide. Find, rate and review care homes and homecare agencies.
UK Care Guide. Site for people looking for care and advice on the legal and financial issues related to care.
Jewish Care. The largest health & social care organisation serving the Jewish community in London & the south east of England.
The Local Government Ombudsman. This free and impartial service will look at individual complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services.
Care Inspectorate. Making a complaint about care services in Scotland.
Live-in care hub Information resource around arranging live-in home help.
AccessAble. Accessibility guide covering thousands of places.
British Red Cross. Borrow a wheelchair or a commode. Also helps with getting people home from hospital.
Tax help for older people An independent charity working for older people on low incomes to manage their taxes.
Local authorities and health trusts
Finding the information you need for your particular circumstances and location can be difficult. Local trust and authorities have different ways of approaching health and social care, so often generic advice can only be a starting point. If any elderly person is leaving hospital, they may well be contacted automatically by social services to assess whether they are able to safely go home and what help they might need.
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Please note that When They Get Older is not responsible for content on third party websites or the advice, products or services they may offer. While we aim to keep this page up to date, you may find that organisations and details change from time to time.