Help an elderly relative stay in their own home - an A-Z guide
There is a wealth or support and advice which can help an elderly relative stay in the comfort of their own home. We’ve listed links to services we offer and also to external organisations, such as the NHS, but we hope this A-Z of top tips will help you too.
A is for aids and adaptations in their home
Aids (or equipment in the home) is available which will allow an elderly relative to move around safely and independently.
This can help them:
- get washed
- get dressed
- with cooking
Adaptations to the home enable a property to be changed help someone an elderly relative move about and use the home safely and independently.
B is for getting an elderly relative back on their feet
If an elderly relative has been in hospital or had an illness or injury which has meant that they are unable to carry out the usual day to day living tasks they did before there are a number of options available.
They will usually be referred by either your GP or the hospital for these services but if you would like to talk to us you can ring on 0300 300 8303 between 8:30am and 5:30pm (Monday to Thursday) and between 8:30am and 4:30pm on Friday. If you feel their situation cannot wait you can contact the Emergency Social Worker on 0300 300 8123.
C is for carers
A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care for a family member or friend who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, can't cope without their support.
People who provide unpaid care and support to others view themselves as doing what anyone else would do for a loved one, rather than seeing themselves as carers. Although there are many positive and rewarding aspects to caring, there are lots of reasons why the experience can also leave the carer needing support. You may find yourself in this position when you are suddenly taking care of an elderly relative.
D is for Disabled Facilities Grant
A Disabled Facilities Grant can help provide safe access into and around the home. An elderly relative may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help with the cost of making adaptations to your home - depending on their situation, including their financial circumstances.
E is for Extra Care Housing
Extra care housing provides a higher level of support than supported housing but still allows you to retain some privacy, and remain as independent as possible.
F is for friends
Getting out, taking part in leisure activities and socialising with friends can make all the difference to their health and well-being.
G is for getting around outside the home
There are various options for getting around outside the home, so they can see friends and family. They may be able to get a Blue Badge, or use community transport services, plus there is the older person’s bus pass which gives free travel once an elderly person is of a certain age.
H is for help at home
There is so much we could add here, so we have…all in one place on our main help an elderly relative stay in their own home web page.
I is for independent living
Thanks to advances in medicine and more active lifestyles, our population of older residents looks set to grow over the coming decades and we are building state of the art accommodation to help people to live independently, with the social and care services they need on hand.
We have invested in two independent living schemes to date:
- Priory View, in Dunstable which opened in 2016
- Houghton Regis Central, a scheme which will be based on land of the former Co-Operative store and surrounding area
J is for jogging
We have six leisure centres in Central Bedfordshire. These leisure centres are a great place to keep fit and also meet people. So, why not pop in with your elderly relative and have a chat with our leisure centre staff to find out the range of facilities on offer. It's always less intimidating when you go with them on the first visit too, to help settle in and enjoy new surroundings.
K is for keeping warm
As part of the national and local drive to tackle climate change, there is a wide range of help and advice available both locally and nationally to help the elderly keep warm at home. We work closely with the Energy Saving Trust who provide free and independent advice on what type of measures would be beneficial for your type of home.
L is for Lifeline alarm
Lifeline is an emergency alarm service, providing assistance at the touch of a button - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This gives great peace of mind for both you and your elderly relative.
M is for meals on wheels
Delivered hot meals (meals on wheels) are ideal when an elderly person is no longer able to use an oven or microwave.
N is for NHS
The NHS website (link opens in new window) as a wealth of information relating to caring for older relatives. Have a look to see what they can offer too.
O is for over 50s activities
Find details of specific activities we provide for people aged 50+. All sessions are open to the general public and aimed at encouraging over 50s to take part in regular physical activity as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. Don’t worry if they are trying an activity for the first time; classes can be tailored to suit their needs. Our programme offer is as much about meeting new people and friends as it is for doing some exercise and staying active. Be sure to also check out our Walk 4 Health page, too.
P is for paying for care
We have a page dedicated around paying for care as there is quite a lot of information regarding paying for different types of care.
Q is for questions
You might have a question for our team or wanted to contact one of our offices – we’re here to help so contact us if you cannot find what you need on our website.
R is for rights
Everyone is entitled to live their life in safety without being mistreated, hurt or exploited by others. But some people's situations may make them more vulnerable to abuse and less able to protect themselves from harm or mistreatment. Find out about your rights and protecting vulnerable adults from harm.
S is for supported housing
Supported housing accommodation has special facilities like alarms and supported housing officer services, that are available for elderly people.
They help elderly people who need extra support to live independently.
Many of the sheltered housing schemes have communal lounges, which encourage social interaction and create a scheme community.
T is for therapy, in this case occupational therapy
We want to help you move around freely around your home and live there longer.
This might include installing equipment, minor works, or assist to facilitate major adaptations to help you remain safe and independent in and around their home .
Our Occupational Therapists can assess your elderly relative to see what they can do to help you lead a more productive life.
U is for understanding options
There may be options you have not considered, and by completing an assessment on their behalf we can:
- discuss their situation
- understand what their needs are
- help consider their wellbeing
V is for visiting friends and relatives
Our friends at the NHS have a dedicated section around loneliness in older people (link opens in new window). Don’t be put off by the title, it has some really good, practical advice for avoiding loneliness and social isolation.
W is for our Walk 4 Health programme
Walk 4 Health programmes run throughout Central Bedfordshire. Health walks are regular, led, walks which are free and open to all – although aimed particularly at people who are presently doing little or no exercise. Many of our walks end at cafes where people can have a coffee and a chat before they leave.
X is for x-ray
If your elderly relative has been in hospital following a fall (regardless of having an x-ray or not) then our Step Up Step Down service might come in handy.
Y is for you
If you are a friend or relative reading this information, then just stop and think of all the small things that can be done to help an older person. They don’t need to be earth shattering expensive changes. Half an hour to pop in every few days can be just the tonic to pick up someone’s spirits. Again, more top tips and advice from the NHS (link opens in new window).
Z is for going to the zoo
We were always going to struggle with the letter Z, so let’s just say that a day out in the fresh air at the zoo can be some of the best therapy the doctor could ever prescribe.