If you’re familiar with the Which? Elderly Care website, you will see that since October 2018 it has changed a great deal. If you’re new to Which? Later Life Care, you might be interested to know about the changes. Here’s a description of what we’ve done – and why.
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. Our research at that time showed us that it was relatives and friends who would most value the type of information we were providing.
However, as we’ve added more and more information to the website around such subjects as family carers and the Blue Badge scheme, we have learnt that many of our users are looking for guidance for themselves as well as for others.
From feedback we received, we also know that writing about ‘your relative’ was disempowering many of our visitors. We listened and learned and have now changed our language across the site.
The name of the original website was also based on research in early 2014, which indicated that ‘Elderly Care’ would enable most people to find us easily through online searches.
But the word ‘elderly’ has increasingly been seen as pejorative and a label that many older people dislike. To discover a more successful title for the site, we sent out a survey to 1,000 people with a shortlist of six titles. ‘Which? Later Life Care’ was a clear winner with many extremely favourable comments for why it was selected.
New mobile experience
Which? Later Life Care has been designed to be every bit as easy to use on a mobile phone as it is on a desktop computer or tablet. This is something that has become increasingly important to us as the proportion of visitors to the site on a mobile phone has grown.
New information structure
Based on the experience and insight we've gained from working in this area for the last five years, we have arranged our advice 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:
- ways to organise care at home
- products to help you stay independent at home
- carers' rights at work
- taking a break from caring
- claiming for Attendance Allowance
- organising a Power of Attorney
- the pros and cons of sheltered housing
- choosing a care home
- the first steps when someone has died.
Throughout, we have interwoven more than 60 real-life stories, which have long been an appreciated part of our content.
Watch our video for a quick introduction to the new site and an overview of our new and improved tools, or read on below for more information.
New and improved tools
Cost of care and eligibility in England
The cost of care and eligibility tool is new to Which? We have built this to help people address a very real problem in the area of financing care: its complexity and the lack of information around how much care really does cost. 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.
We then go on to provide you with guidance on the essential next steps to help you on your way.
Care services directory
Our care services directory was a very popular tool on the Elderly Care site and here on Later Life Care we have created a new and improved experience. For example, we’ve added food hygiene ratings for all care homes, and for Scottish providers we have added the inspection ratings awarded by the Care Inspectorate.
We have had to close down the advice finder that you may have used on Elderly Care. As we expanded the content on the website, we found that we were unable to adapt the tool to keep abreast of this information. We have therefore chosen to switch it off and explore other ways we can help you navigate the care maze with better tools in the future.
The future of Which? Later Life Care
Here at Which? we are committed to constantly improving the information and guidance we provide in this area. We have big plans for a whole raft of new content over the coming months and years.
We are also exploring different ways to provide you with our information, through videos and infographics, as well as with more downloadable guides for key areas such as financing care.
Our campaign and policy teams are also working hard in this area. You can find out more about our care needs care now campaign here and read the latest policy report – Beyond Social Care: Keeping Later Life Positive – published ahead of the government’s proposed Green Paper on social care in England, expected to be released in late 2018.
We hope the information you find on this website will help you with your care choices whatever your needs are and whenever you need help or guidance.
Home care services can be provided by a range of organisations or even private individuals.
We explain what it means to be a carer and the many ways that the UK’s 6.5 million carers provide help and support.
How do you choose suitable sheltered housing, and what facilities do they offer? Our guide explains your options.