Staying Independent in Your Own Home

A lot of people want to remain independent and stay in their own homes for as long as possible. That’s why we’ve collated this information and advice for planning to stay in your own home.

Home safety

It might be that to live safely in your home you need to make some adaptations, this could include small things like added safety rails to bigger, more expensive jobs like installing a stair lift.

You might want to think about installing a home help system that provides you with a bracelet or necklace with a button to press if you have an accident/fall. The system allows a call to be taken, if you can’t get to the phone it will ring your named emergency contact.

For more information and advice about home safety, please visit our webpage on staying safe at home >

Help at home from a carer

You might feel like you need some extra help and homecare (also known as domiciliary care) can help you. Help at home from a paid carer costs around £20 an hour, but it varies according to where you live. Sometimes, the council will contribute to the cost.

Homecare is very flexible, you might only need it for a short time, perhaps after a fall or accident. You could have a carer for just one hour a week or for several hours a day. A live-in carer might also be an option. Read this NHS webpage for more information.

Retirement living communities

Retirement living could be another option for you to consider. There is a mix of options available to rent, purchase or available on a shared ownership basis.

You might want to live in a larger retirement village with lots going on, or you might prefer a smaller, cosier retirement housing scheme. There is also retirement housing with 24/7 care if you were to need any extra support. Visit our retirement living webpage to find out more.

Respite care

If you’re having help at home from a carer or from a family member or friend, and feel like you need more help, you might want to consider respite care.

Respite care, also known as short-term or short-stay care, is a temporary living arrangement for residents within one of our care homes across England, Scotland and Wales. It gives both carers, and those being cared for, a bit of time off and a chance to recharge their batteries.

Not all care homes offer respite care so it would be best to contact your local care home to enquire. At MHA, we offer respite care in many of our care homes across England, Scotland and Wales.

Cooking meals

As we age, it can get harder to prepare meals for ourselves. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • You could share cooking with a family member, friend or neighbour
  • Find a local lunch club – not only will this give you a meal for free or at a low cost, it can also open up the opportunity to meet other people. Our MHA Communities group across the UK have lunch clubs, find your local service >
  • Meal delivery companies like Wiltshire Farm Foods or Oakhouse can deliver frozen meals to your door
  • Check to see if there are any cafes or restaurants nearby that will deliver a freshly cooked meal.

Personal care

Consider how easy it is for you to do tasks like bathing, washing your hair, or dressing. You might have a relative or friend who is available to help you. Or you could consider at home care for a short time each day to help you with small tasks.

Organisations that will bring their services to your home

A lot of organisations/companies have services that will visit for home visits. Some of these include:

  • Specsavers or check in with your local opticians
  • Chiropodists
  • Hairdressers
  • Pharmacy medication deliveries – ask your GP
  • Cleaning services.

Money management

Do you worry about sorting your finances? You could get help, and ask a trusted friend or family member to lend a hand. Volunteers or financial advisors could also help. Just make sure you get the referral from a trustworthy source.

Always check all bills, including utility bills, for charges you do not recognise.

You could have your regular bills, like utilities and rent, paid automatically from your bank account. You’ll be able to get advice from your bank about getting set up online. 

Note, be careful to avoid money scams. Never give your card or bank details and other personal information to someone over the phone or in response to an email. We have more information and guidance available about avoiding online scams >

Support your wellbeing

It’s important, especially if you live alone, to support your wellbeing. We’ve created some tips for a happy retirement which include things like routines, community groups, volunteering, and pets.

Page last updated: September 2022.

MHA Communities

MHA Communities

MHA Communities, offer a variety of social and online activities and services for people aged 55 and over.

Find out more