Staying put, staying at home

Staying put, staying at home

If you find it difficult to manage at home there may be ways in which your life can be made easier or safer. If you have recently been unwell, or are coming out of hospital, you may be concerned about coping in the future. A variety of organisations can advise or help you on a range of options, depending on your needs and circumstances. You may wish to approach social services to find out about receiving care at home, but there is a range of other or complementary options that may be of more direct assistance to you.

The main issue may be the unsuitability of your present home in which you would like to stay. There are many ways the home may be made more suitable if you want to stay put – with repairs, adaptations, improved heating, security works, or telecare or an alarm system as appropriate, or with changes to the garden to reduce maintenance.

Repairs and adaptations

People can choose to arrange changes for themselves, if they are able and can afford it, but as a starting point it is usually a good idea to see if there is a local Home Improvement Agency (HIA), sometimes called a Staying Put or Care and Repair agency. HIAs can advise on necessary building works, including builders’ lists and possible grants. Some HIAs, for a fee, offer a full agency service organising and supervising works if required. You can find your local HIA using our home improvement agency search.

It may also be possible to find reputable builders or tradesmen through Trustmark at or tel. 0333 555 1234.

Handyperson Services

Local Age UKs and Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) often run handyperson services, which can tackle many smaller tasks including minor plumbing and carpentry jobs, security works, putting up curtain rails. Your local Age UK will be able to advise of any similar schemes in your area. Handyperson services may be available for people who rent or own their property; although if you are a tenant your landlord is likely to be responsible for certain repairs. You can find local handyperson services in our home services directory.

Heating and Energy Efficiency

The Energy Saving Trust – or tel. 0300 123 1234 – can provide advice on energy efficiencies, insulation and heating measures to both home owners and tenants.

Security and Safety

The Crime Prevention Officer at your local police station will be able to give advice.

You can have an alarm system (often called community alarm) installed through the telephone line, so that you can call for help if you fall, or are taken ill or suspect an intruder. Calls are routed to a monitoring centre that is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alarm systems are available from local councils, and from charities and commercial providers.

Independence and health

Telecare (often called assistive technology) is a term to cover a variety of equipment to help people retain their independence. It includes basic sensors to detect gas or smoke, but also more sophisticated equipment to remind people to take their medication or to detect wandering. Contact your GP, your local authority or the Disabled Living Foundation or 0300 999 0004

Factsheets on staying put

EACs Housing Options for Older People Tool (HOOP)