Where can you go for more help?
If you’ve a specific challenge, these organisations may be able to help.
Where to start
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.
Centre for Ageing Better Campaigning group with interesting reports on facilities and aids to improve life as we age.
The cost of care. A calculator for the cost of care and nursing homes in England, provided by Which?
Carers Rights UK. Charity dedicated to defending the rights of those in care. Recommended contact for families needing help in communicating with care homes.
Care homes and carers
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.
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.
Care UK. UK’s largest independent provider of care. Search locally for care providers.
MHA. Charity-based care homes and communities.
Lottie. A care comparison site, initially in the south-east but now going national.
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.
Achieve Together. Directory of care services for specialist needs including deaf and deafblind. The RNIB transferred its services and staff to this company in 2019.
Live-in care hub Information resource around arranging live-in home help.
Re-engage. Provides vital, life-enhancing social connections for older people at a time in their lives when their social circles are diminishing. Has a special focus on the UK’s oldest people (75+), and as well as tea parties and social gatherings, the organisation also offers a service specifically for LGBT+ people over the age of 75.
Entertainment, education and physical fitness from home
Rest Less. From book clubs & yoga, to historical talks and live music performances, 80+ online live events a month with some free and others available for a charge.
Goldster. Subscription service offering wide range of online events and courses, aimed at helping people discover the aspirations and challenges that work best for their life and health.
RVS Village Hall. An online activity hub and community, designed to help people stay physically and mentally active, connected and having fun. Free with a request for charity donation.
General health advice
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.
Pathways Through Dementia. Free legal and financial information to support people living with dementia.
Relish Wellbeing Hub. Tips on wellbeing following a dementia diagnosis, from a specialist dementia product company.
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.
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, plus communities and the opportunity to contact a cardiac nurse.
Parkinsons UK. Advice and support for those living with Parkinson’s.
Mental Health Foundation. Includes a helpline for anyone needing urgent support.
OK Rehab. Offering inclusive addiction treatment options in the community and residential
Rehab Guide. Directory of addiction clinics in the UK as well as advice.
Mesothelioma Hope offers free resources that are reviewed by certified oncologists and provide detailed information about mesothelioma and its health impacts. Its mission is to raise awareness about cancer and other asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma.
Royal Osteoporosis Society. Charity offering advice and help for better bones.
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.
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.
Tax help for older people An independent charity working for older people on low incomes to manage their taxes.
Grants for senior citizens A US directory of grants and support services.
Protection from scams
Which? provides a very useful scam alert service, which tracks the latest scams and offers advice for avoiding them. You can also sign up for neighbourhood alerts about local policing and safety issues, via email and an app on a local basis.
AccessAble. Accessibility guide covering thousands of places.
British Red Cross. Borrow a wheelchair or a commode. Also helps with getting people home from hospital.
London Underground step-free travel map.
HourGlass. Charity dedicated to stopping abuse for safer ageing.
End of Life
Grief counselling. Take a look at our blog listing organisations that can help support people through loss.
Hospice UK National charity for hospice care, supporting over 200 hospices in the UK. Parent of Dying Matters.
Marie Curie. Charity offering care and support at end of life.
Tell Us Once. A service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.
Probate application. UK government advice on applying for probate.
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. 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.
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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.