Whats in this section?
Whats in this section?
Services developed in partnership with the voluntary sector
Adult Social Care works with and funds voluntary and community organisations and charities to deliver preventative care services, allowing older people and those with disabilities to remain independent in their homes. These services are a vital form of support and can help delay or avoid the need for more formal services.
- day services, day care, lunch clubs and social groups;
- befriending, visiting and telephone contact services;
- support schemes to help those being discharged from hospital;
- support for carers;
- respite care or short breaks;
- advocacy, information and advice; and
- handyperson / handyman schemes.
You can search for these local support services in our support services and trades section.
Active Body, Active Mind
Staying fit and healthy is important for your physical and mental wellbeing. If you are starting a new exercise program, here are 5 tips to bear in mind:
- Start slow
When starting a new fitness regime don’t try and do too much too fast.
- Find your rhythm
Try and set aside a specific time each day for exercise, a little bit every day is preferable to large efforts a couple of times per week
- Best exercises for older people
Aim for exercises that improve your flexibility and maintain muscle strength. This may include exercises such as walking or swimming, lighter weights, Yoga and Tai Chi.
- Find a group
Doing exercise with others can help with motivation, most leisure centres have a variety of groups aimed at older people.
- Keep a log
A simple record of what exercise you do each day is a helpful measure of your progress, and can also help decide what exercises work best for you.
For more information on how to stay active, see our article on 5 fitness tips for older people.
Maintaining an active mind is just as important to those trying to live independently as maintaining your physical wellbeing. Exercising your brain as well as your body enables you to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
Mobile apps can be a great way to exercise your brain when you have a spare few minutes. Find out more about the best apps to keep you mentally active in our article Mental Stimulation is Everything: Apps that keep the Brain Ticking.
Healthy lifestyle tips
Here are some other tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
- Healthy eating – we all need a balanced diet and exercise to ensure that we have good physical and mental health.
- Stopping smoking – use the NHS stop smoking tool to get daily tips for success to stop smoking, visit the NHS Choices website
- Leisure centres offer opportunities for getting active and healthy. For details of what’s on, visit your local leisure centre’s website, or see our page on leisure and activities.
- You can now also get NHS verified health advice from Amazon Alexa devices, for example asking “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?” will give out the correct NHS verified advice for this issue, find out more.
Libraries and community hubs
Libraries provide much more than just books and are often a valuable source of resources for individuals of all ages. Many libraries offer public internet access, as well as easy access to local historical records.
Some regions will have community hubs which provide services and activities for residents in their local area. Your local council’s website should be able to direct you to your nearest community hub.
Day care centres
Many older people can feel lonely or isolated without an opportunity to take part in meaningful activities. Research has shown that you can reduce loneliness and promote wellbeing by taking part in more organised social activities.
Day care centres give individuals the chance to meet new friends, take up an activity or receive specialist services such as chiropody or hairdressing.
There is a large number around the country, supporting older people, those with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and dementia.
Day opportunities can be as important for carers as those attending offering them a regular break from caring. Attendance may be free or chargeable, however, transport and meals usually require payment.
Meals on wheels
Meals on wheels are ready meals delivered to your home and can be a great support to those living independently. There are frozen meal services and freshly-cooked hot meal services. Frozen meals can be delivered in bulk and kept in your freezer until required.
Local councils can arrange for meals to be delivered to your door. However, you would need to be assessed for eligibility, and it may not be free. Similarly, a number of companies can also provide meals on wheels or home delivery meals at a charge.
Blue badge scheme
The blue badge scheme is a national system of parking concessions, allowing holders to park close to their destination. The blue badge scheme is also open to organisations that care for disabled people and meet the qualifying criteria.
Occupational therapy provides advice, assessments and solutions for those living in their own home requiring physical assistance. These solutions can include equipment and adaptations.
You may be referred to these services following an assessment by your local adult social care or health professional.
Mobility equipment is designed to allow older people or those living with disabilities to keep living independently.
Indoor walking aids such as walking trolleys can make for a safer home environment. For example by helping prevent spills and trips when moving from room to room.
Outdoor aids such as wheelchairs, rollators and mobility scooters can enable users to remain socially active, as a result, they can have a big impact on both physical independence and mental health.
Purchasing quality and reliable equipment for independent living can occasionally be difficult for those with limited budgets.
If you need financial help to buy mobility equipment, see our article on finding funding for mobility equipment. Here we go over specific grants you can apply for, and other schemes such as Access to Work.
There are home aids and equipment available to make living independently at home easier and improve safety and independence. Examples include stair rails, raised toilet seats, shower stools etc.
Additionally, adaptive technologies are available to support those who have limited motor skills, memory problems or sensory difficulties. Examples of this include:
- Electronic pillboxes with alarms to remind you when to take a specific medication.
- Smart home systems that can be instructed to turn up the heating, or switch off the lights.
- Key finders.
For more information on what kinds are available, see our equipment and technology providers page.