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Lack of information on independent living in the home

Published on 01 July 2013 07:00 AM

Over 65's failed by lack of available information to aid independent living

Continuing to live independently and in their own home is one of the most important desires for people in later life, yet a survey conducted by Age UK Personal Alarms* has found that some of those in later life are finding it difficult to access information to help them to achieve this goal.

A fifth of over-65s (20%) cited a lack of available information on independence aids for the home, highlighting a lack of access and understanding of services in their local area. Independence aids for the home range from fall detectors and grab bars to personal alarms and stair lifts as well as many others.

The majority of over-65s believe that information to aid independent living should be provided by organisations in the local community, with GPs and local councils coming out on top.

For three fifths (61%) of those in later life their GP would be the first port of call, followed by over half (58%) turning to their local council for support.

While some do believe that they have enough information on independence aids a significant proportion disagrees suggesting this information isn't necessarily being communicated effectively to the whole community.

Two thirds (64%) of respondents believe that they will need some sort of independence aid in the future. Yet worryingly 16% over 65s remain unsure of what's available or where to look for outlets that can provide information on independence aids for the home in their local area.

For those in later life that do already use independence aids the benefits are clear, with more than half (57%) saying that using them made them feel safer in the home and two fifths (42%) that they provide them with a heightened feeling of independence. 

6 in 10 (60%) respondents also said that accessing them is just a normal part of getting older.

Gordon Morris, Managing Director of Age UK Personal Alarms, said of the findings:

'Many people in later life want to live independently in their own home for as long as possible and therefore it is very concerning that many older people lack the knowledge of where to go to get information about independence aids. More must be done to raise awareness of independence aids and encourage discussions with families, doctors and local community services on how to improve choice, access and promote independent living.

'Positively, the research does show that those who use independence aids benefit from feeling safer in their homes and that they provide peace of mind to the user and their family. It is therefore imperative that those in later life have access to information about aids for the home that can help prevent falls. An Age UK Personal Alarm is one such service which can help those in later life remain in control and confident in their home.'

Age UK has a range of independence aids, including the Age UK Personal Alarm, as well as information and advice on living independently available. To find out more log on at, or call on 0800 022 4026 or pop into your local Age UK.


For further information, please contact Rachel Finlay or Tom Karim on 0207 360 7878 or

*Age UK Personal Alarms commissioned extensive research among a panel of 1,500 UK respondents aged over 65 years. The same is broadly representative of the UK across age, gender and region. The survey was conducted 11th - 17th June 2013. The research was conducted online on behalf of Age UK Personal Alarms by independent research company Watermelon.

The Age UK Personal Alarm is a paid for service. It costs from £49 plus £44 per quarter (for self-installation option only). This includes full maintenance and replacement. For more information visit

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Age UK Enterprises

To fund its charitable activities, Age UK needs a constant flow of independent income. It seeks to achieve this through a balance of traditional fund raising and trading activities.

The trading activities, through Age UK Enterprises enable it to meet the needs of older people, through products specifically designed to meet these needs; quality products such as general insurance and energy Services. Age UK Enterprises is the commercial services arm of Age UK.

For more information about the products and services offered by Age UK Enterprises please visit our website by logging on to

Age UK Enterprises is part of the Social Enterprise Coalition; an organisation that represents a wide range of social enterprises with the overarching aim of working in partnership for the creation of effective sector products, services and knowledge-sharing networks to help stimulate and encourage growth, development and sustainability of social enterprises in England.

Age UK Enterprises Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance mediation (311438) and to introduce potential annuity customers. Age UK Enterprises Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 3156159, registered office: Age UK, 7th Floor, One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB. VAT Number: 710 3843 66. Age UK Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Age UK (registered charity No. 1128267 and registered company No. 06825798) and donates its net profits to Age UK.

Age UK England (charity number 261794) has merged with Help the Aged (charity number 272786) to form Age UK, a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England: registered office address Age UK, 7th Floor, One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB, company number 6825798, registered charity number 1128267.

Age UK Personal Alarms

Age UK's personal alarm service summons help, at the touch of a button. Over 40,000 people throughout the UK rely on the emergency alarm service. Users are not exclusively older people; some have a physical disability, or a chronic condition such as epilepsy or diabetes, some are recovering from illness, while others are more concerned for their security than their health. For more information visit

The Age UK Personal Alarm costs from £69 plus £3.47 per week*. This includes full maintenance and replacement. If you would like more information visit

*For self installation option only. Billing takes place on a quarterly basis  

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Last updated: Oct 20 2022

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