Caring for Elderly Parents or Partner – Web based Resources

Caring for elderly parents or an elderly partner can often be demanding. Fortunately, the internet now provides a useful additional source of support, available 24/7.

See below for links to more than fifty organisations that can potentially help. 

As a report from the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Cross Roads Care identified, web based support now includes:

  • Information on most of the issues you’re likely to face (from care options to coping strategies, from emotional to financial support, from information on caring for someone with dementia to looking after your own health)
  • An opportunity for social interaction even if you find it difficult to get out – through email, Twitter, Skype etc.
  • An aid to flexible working if you are still employed
  • Entertainment and a break from caring
  • Online shopping, particularly helpful again if you find it difficult to get out.

Here is an alphabetical list of some of the many organisations which can potentially help. Just click on their names to go straight through to their websites:

Age UK - information for older people on care, benefits, health etc. Also 170 local Age UK/Age Concern organisations, whose services can include: information, advice and advocacy services; day centres and lunch clubs; home help and ‘handyperson’ schemes; and IT and other training.

Alzheimers Society – wide ranging information and advice about living with dementia and caring for someone with dementia. This includes practical advice about washing, dressing, feeding and safeguarding the health of someone with Alzheimer’s; as well as relationship issues and coping with caring. 

Arts4Dementia - Information about arts programmes in London for people in the early stages of dementia and their carers. These programmes can stimulate brain activity and bring relief from anxiety and confusion, for them, their families and carers.

AT Dementia AT Dementia provides information on assistive technology that can help people with dementia live more independently.

British Red Cross - provides short-term support to vulnerable people in the UK, for instance if they're recovering from an operation, need a wheelchair or need help coping around the house, plus a transport service for people who cannot get about easily or use public transport.

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) - free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on people’s rights and responsibilities.

Care and Repair Cymru - tries to ensure that all older people in Wales have homes that are safe, secure and appropriate to their needs.

Care Quality Commission - checks whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards and publishes inspection reports.

Carers Direct - information, advice and support for carers, hosted by NHS Choices.

Carers Trust - information on respite care, employment, taking care of yourself, holidays and days out, getting the most from health professionals etc – and contact details for Carers’ Centres across the UK.

Carers UK - a range of help, advice and resources for carers, including a telephone helpline, a directory of local organisations that can help carers, and a beginners’s guide to caring.

College of Occupational Therapists - information on how to find an Occupational Therapist to help people carry out activities or develop skills they need or want to do, but physical or mental illness, disability etc prevent them.

Dementia Adventure  -Specially designed small group short breaks and holidays for people with dementia and their carers to enjoy together. This is designed as an alternative to traditional respite which can be stressful for some people with dementia. 

Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International - a worldwide organization by and for those diagnosed with dementia, working together to improve quality of life.

Dementia Gateway - resources, including films, activities and e learning from early signs and diagnosis, through living with dementia to end of life care. From the SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence). 

Dementia UK - aims to improve the quality of life of dementia patients. Also promotes and develops Admiral Nursing - a specialist nursing intervention focused on meeting the needs of carers and families of people with dementia. 

Dementia Web - Provides the Dementia Information Prescription, which includes a list of local key services, organisations and contact telephone numbers in many, but not yet all, parts of England. Also provides a Hints and Tips booklet and After Diagnosis – a Handy Guide. 24 hour helpline on 0845 1204048 

Disabled People's Organisations - a helpline to refer you to local disability information and advice services run by and for disabled people.

Disability Benefits Centre - the government disability benefits helpline.

Disabled Living Foundation - provides independent advice on mobility aids, disability aids, daily living equipment etc.

Disability Rights UK - an organisation run by and for disabled people, providing information and advice on independent living, career opportunities and influencing public behaviour and attitudes. Also supply RADAR keys.  

Elderly Accommodation Council -aims to help older people make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs.

Elderly Care Support Line - free information on care options, provided by BUPA.

ElderlyParents.org.uk - provides an online market of products and services to help elderly relatives.

Foundations - appointed by the UK government as the national organisation for home improvement agencies, which aim to help vulnerable people maintain their independence and live comfortably and safely in their own homes.

Foundation for Assistive Technology - Assistive Technology (AT) is any product or service designed to enable independence for disabled and older people. FAST works to support innovation in product development and good practice in service provision.

Green Deal:Energy saving for your home

Home Insulation Guide for The Elderly

Homeshare International In Homeshare, someone who needs a small amount of help to live independently in their own home is matched with someone who has a housing need and can provide support or companionship -  typically a younger student or key public service worker who cannot afford housing 

iCare Family - a stress management skills training programme for carers of people with memory problems, funded by the US National Institute on Aging

Independent Age - a wide range of online guides, including accessing care services, care funding, care homes and home care (including telehealth and  telecare)

Innovations in Dementia - Innovations in Dementia develops and tests projects designed to enhance the lives of people with dementia. It provides a useful guide to Getting equipped to tackle forgetfulness. This includes equipment to help find things, remember to do things, keep safe, take medication, avoid getting lost and raise the alarm in emergency.

Jewish Care- information about care homes and community centres for Jewish people in London and the South East. NB We'd welcome information about organisations providing similar facilities for people of other faiths and religions.  

Legal guide to dealing with dementia- Law firm Wright Hassall have produced a guide, explaining Power of Attorney arrangements in some detail.

Memoryappsfordementia - recommends iPad apps for people with dementia. It takes advanatage of the fact that iPads are easier to use and more tactile and responsive than traditional computers. Apps recommended are for Art, Music, Reminiscence, Story telling and Video.

MoneySavingExpert.com - has a useful guide to Power of Attorney (written with help from the Alzhiemer's Society and Age UK) and also a useful guide to Mental Health and Debt (written with help and guidance from six charities)

My Ageing Parent - Provides a wide range of information - from specific information on care options, to local authority funding to how to keep ageing parents active, busy and healthy. Also has a forum, to ask questions and get advice from others in a similar situation. Plus an online shop, with products designed to help the elderly. 

My Life Software - Software that provides communication support and interactivity for the elderly and people with dementia. Digital Life Story allows you to create, with someone with dementia, the story of their life and interact with it on-screen. The Interactive Reminiscence Aid contains photographs, video clips, music and lyrics dating back to the 1930’s - to spark recollections that can form the basis of conversations and promote well-being. 

MS Society Grants - support for short breaks and respite care; activities for adult carers, including hobbies and courses; home and car adaptations etc. See also the Society’s Carers Opportunity Fund , to help carers pursue education and learning opportunities.

National Care Forum - a map of not for profit care homes across the UK. 

Parkinson's UK - Parkinson's UK funds Parkinson's research in the UK, provides a wide range of publications on Parkinson's and also offers friendship, support and the opportunity to meet other people affected via a network of 350 local groups across the UK. Also has a peer support service, where you can talk to a trained volunteer with similar experience. Helpline: 0808 800 0303

Pictures to Share - When someone has dementia they find it difficult to understand the world and to communicate with family, friends and carers. Pictures to Share books aim to help prompt meaningful conversation about a wide range of subjects, but can also be enjoyed even when the person with dementia is no longer able to talk.

Relate - offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support face-to-face, by phone and through its website.

Revitalise - a charity whoich provides respite holdays for disabled people and theitr carers.

Rica (Research Institute for Consumer Affairs) - Consumer reports on mobility and home products for people with disabilities and older people, Based on user tests by disabled and elderly people and on other original research. 

Royal Voluntary Service  - Through more than 40,000 volunteers Royal Voluntary Service helps support older people all over the country to stay independent at home and active in their community. RVS have around 450 community centres and lunch clubs, 50 community transport schemes and over 500 cafes, shops and trolleys in hospitals. 

Samaritans - provides confidential emotional support 24/7 to those experiencing despair, distress or suicidal feelings. 

Shared Lives Plus - An alternative to home care and care homes for disabled adults and older people. It is used by around 15,000 people in the UK. In Shared Lives, a Shared Lives carer and someone who needs support get to know each other and, if they both feel that they will be able to form a long-term bond, they share family and community life. 

Telecare and Telehealth (Carers UK guide) - telecare can help keep you safe in your home as you get older and may also help you to stay in your own home for longer, if that’s what you wish. Examples include reminders, carer’s alerts, sensory impairment alarms and movement detectors. Telehealth is a way of monitoring your health while you are at home, through specialist equipment and internet access.

ThisCaringHome.org - provides tips and tools to enhance home safety for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Turn2Us.org.uk - customised web searches (or a free, confidential telephone helpline) to help you find support that might be available if you’re in financial difficulty, through welfare benefits, grants and other financial help.

United Kingdon Home Care Association (UKHCA) -the professional association of home care providers from the independent, voluntary, not-for-profit and statutory sectors. Provides a guide to finding a homecare agency.

Warm Front (now known as Affordable Warmth) - provides grants for heating and insulation improvements to households on certain income-related benefits living in properties that are poorly insulated and/or do not have a working central heating system. It is only available in England but similar schemes are available in other parts of the UK ie Nest in Wales ; The Energy Assistance Package in Scotland; and Affordable Warmth grant scheme in Northern Ireland. 

Published 14/01/2012, Updated 04/10/13, 09/07/14 , 31/03/15,  07/03/16, 10/03/17 Review date March 2018

Care for the elderly