Later Life Care – brought to you by Which?
We provide independent, clear and well-informed information on the subject of care in later life, together with access to local care service providers around the UK.
Our advice is aimed at everyone in the UK, but where information differs for Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales we flag this up at relevant points.
Watch our video for a quick introduction to the website, plus an overview of our cost of care and eligibility calculator.
From Elderly Care to Later Life Care
Which? Elderly Care was launched in February 2014 and was originally intended to give support to families of older people as they made choices about care in later life. As we added more and more information, we learnt that our users were increasingly looking for guidance for themselves as well as for others. We were also aware that the term ‘elderly’ was becoming a label that many older people disliked.
With this in mind, in October 2018 we relaunched the website as Which? Later Life Care. The site has an updated design, extra advice content, new and improved tools, and a wider remit to provide guidance for older people looking to stay as independent as possible, as well as help for those caring for an older family member or friend.
Information structure on the site
The advice on Which? Later Life Care is arranged into five main categories:
We are a one-stop shop covering subjects across the broad spectrum of care. For example, you might need to explore:
- how to organise care at home
- products to help you stay independent at home
- carers’ rights at work
- taking a break from caring
- claiming Attendance Allowance
- organising a Power of Attorney
- the pros and cons of sheltered housing
- choosing a care home
- care options at the end of life
- the first steps when someone has died.
Throughout, we have interwoven more than 60 real-life stories, which bring the issues to life through the experiences of others.
Cost of care and eligibility in England
Our cost of care and eligibility tool helps people cut through the complexity and lack of clear information around how much care really costs. By answering a few simple questions, we’re able to tell you not only how much care costs in your area (for England only at present) but also if you are potentially eligible for local authority support or will be most likely paying for your own care.
If you are paying for your own care, we can help you calculate how long your funds will last and what your choices will be. We also provide guidance on the essential next steps to help you on your way.
Watch the video near the top of this page for an overview of the cost of care and eligibility calculator.
Care services directory
Our care services directory provides details of regulated care services throughout the UK, including care homes, nursing homes, home care services and support groups.
You can search by postcode, county or town to discover details of care homes and other care services in your area. You can also use the shortlist feature to view all your care service options in one place, or come back and compare them later on.
Depending on the type of service and where it’s located in the UK, the entries may include inspection ratings and reports, food hygiene ratings, contact details, and information about accommodation, facilities and specialist services.
Care home providers can also add additional information to make their entry more informative. Find out more here.
This site is part of the Which? mission
Which? is the largest consumer organisation in Europe with over 800,000 members. We operate as an independent, apolitical, social enterprise working for all consumers and are funded solely by our commercial ventures. We receive no government money, public donations or other fundraising income.
Our mission is to make individuals as powerful as the organisations they have to deal with in their daily lives, by empowering them to make informed decisions and by campaigning to make people’s lives fairer, simpler and safer.
BMA Patient Information Awards winner
Which? Later Life Care won the Community Care Award at the 2019 BMA Patient Information Awards.
The awards aim to support and encourage patient-centred care in meeting the needs of patients through the production of accessible, well-designed information and resources that promote greater awareness and understanding of health matters and patient choice. The Community Care Award is for resources that demonstrate innovative approaches to community care.
The judges described Later Life Care as a ‘great resource for older adults and their families to get clearly written explanations of all the issues related to care in later life. It has used a good spread of relevant experienced professionals and representatives. Patient stories are used throughout to illustrate the information being given. The patient/client/family stories illustrate how difficult it can be to navigate the care system and how complicated, expensive and limited it can be. It shows the pitfalls which website users can be aware of and prepare for.’
Our expert contributors
We work closely with external experts across a broad spectrum of subject areas to ensure our information remains accurate and up to date.
Jonathan Blood Smyth: Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)-registered physiotherapist. He has extensive NHS experience and was head of department in a large hospital in the south west of England. Jonathan is a director at Local Physio and writes on physiotherapy health related issues.
Kirstie Dalrymple: Experienced occupational therapist specialising in housing adaptations and assistive technology, as well as a trainer and consultant. She runs her own company and works with individuals and organisations to support independent living and minimise environmental difficulties that may prevent people with life-changing medical conditions or disabilities from living life to their full potential.
Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC): UK charity that has been helping older people to make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs for over 30 years.
FirstStop: An independent service that specialises in providing free expert advice to older people and their families on a range of matters relating to housing, care and associated finances.
Shirley Pearce BSc MRCOT: A dementia specialist occupational therapist with experience in memory clinics, day centres, care homes, domiciliary and family care. In 2018 she set up the charity Understanding Dementia to train care professionals and family carers to understand the effects of dementia on the person and lessen its impact on everyone concerned.
Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA): Established in 2008 as a not-for-profit consumer-facing organisation whose primary objective is linking individuals and their families with specialist financial advisers who have achieved the Later Life Adviser Accreditation. These advisers specialise in the financial needs of older people.
The OT Practice: A leading independent occupational therapy consultancy with a nationwide network of high-quality therapists to the private and commercial sectors. They work with people whose lives are made difficult through ill health or disability, helping them to achieve the independence they need to live life to the full.
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA): The national professional association for organisations providing care to people in their own homes, representing over 2,000 members across the UK.
Anne Wadey: An independent consultant and trainer in bereavement issues, who brings together an understanding of the bereavement journey with the practical tasks faced by bereaved people. She has worked in this area in the NHS and the commercial sector, and has contributed to government and charity documents as well as websites for bereaved people.
Maggie Winchcombe: A practising registered occupational therapist for over 30 years. She advises businesses and organisations about how they could improve their services for older consumers, and offers training about ageing and ageing well through Years Ahead.
In addition, we are grateful to all the contributors who have given us the benefit of their experiences in the real life stories featured on the website.
Contacting Which? Later Life Care
If you are a healthcare professional or a care service provider and have a question about Which? Later Life Care, please see the following articles where we provide answers to some frequently asked questions, along with other useful information:
For any other queries relating to this site, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we do not give individual advice on care options.
Which? is not a provider of, nor adviser on, any type of health care or its funding. No information or opinions on the Which? Later Life Care website are provided by way of health care advice or financial advice and are in no way intended to replace advice from a suitably qualified health care professional or independent financial adviser (as the case may be).
While every care has been taken in researching the information included on this website, no responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracy or omission, or for any of the information being out of date.
A care provider or funding options should not be chosen based solely on the information on this website. No responsibility is accepted for any loss resulting from reliance on the information contained within this website.
The site is aimed at users looking to make care choices in the UK. It contains information that isn’t relevant for users outside the UK.
Which? is not responsible for the content of external websites and we do not review or vet the contents of any websites linked to from this site.