5 ways Age UK can provide the support you need to enjoy later life in Suffolk

Older people living in Suffolk can access information about local care services using Age UK's national advice line

Older people living in Suffolk can contact Age UK's National Advice Line for help and guidance about getting older. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Growing older doesn’t mean you need to stop enjoying life or give up your independence.

For those living in Suffolk concerned about becoming older, there’s support at hand to help you and your family.

Age UK is a national charity dedicated to supporting older people and their loved ones. Though the local Suffolk organisation closed in 2020, residents can still benefit from Age UK's services.

Below, John Edwards from Age UK reveals five things you can do to make sure your later years are the best ones yet.

1. Contact Age UK’s National Advice Line to discover what financial support might be available

Often, older people and family members want to know more about financial aid, such as the benefits that are available to help them pay for at home or residential care.

Elderly woman in Suffolk using Age UK's telephone befriending service.

Joining Age UK's Telephone Friendship service can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

You can call, email or join a webchat to speak with an Age UK adviser. We can tell you more about the available financial support, check your eligibility and advise you on how to apply. Information guides like the ‘More money in your pocket guide’ are available on our website and can be posted or emailed to you. They provide easy to follow guidance on Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance and other benefits.

If you’re concerned about how to cover rising fuel costs, don’t worry, our friendly advisers are here to help. They’ll get to know more about your situation and can point you in the right direction. If you don’t feel confident about completing online forms, we can arrange a call with one of our specialist advisers to guide you through the process.

2. Reach out to Age UK for in-depth advice on accessing social care in Suffolk

If you’ve recently been in hospital, had a fall or are finding it increasingly difficult to get out and about, then you may wonder if there’s some support available.

We can offer advice and explain how to contact the local authority for a social assessment to determine what care they can provide. We’ll inform you how to contact Suffolk council and explain how they will conduct a means test and assess your financial situation. Finding out more about social care can be overwhelming and a hard system to navigate. We can help you understand your options so you can decide what’s right for you.

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3. Ask Age UK for information about residential care costs

If you, a spouse or a relative have developing care needs or are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, then you may need to move to residential care. Often one of the first questions people ask is how much it will cost and how can I pay for it?

Speaking to one of our advisers can offer a safe, friendly space for you to talk about your concerns. Our advisers can put your mind at ease, help you find ways to save money and cover your care fees.

4. Enjoy a weekly chat with an Age UK volunteer that shares your interests

Feeling isolated is not an uncommon experience for elderly people living in the UK. This is why we created our Telephone Friendship service to remind people they’re never truly alone.

Elderly person holding hands with volunteer from Age UK.

Age UK's friendly advisers can help answer your questions and concerns about getting older. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The service matches you with a volunteer that has a similar background or shares your interests and hobbies. You can then enjoy a repeat weekly phone call getting to know one another better and forming a lasting friendship. We have many people that have used the service for years, and look forward to their weekly conversations, catching up with one another and discussing what’s going on in the world.

To date, we have matched over 4,000 elderly individuals and volunteers, with the service continuing to grow rapidly.

5. Use Silver Line's 24/7 helpline for support whenever you need it

It’s our ambition to reach and assist as many older people as we can, and that help is needed throughout the day and the night. This was why Dame Esther Rantzen founded The Silver Line, which joined Age UK in 2019. Her goal was to provide someone to talk to for the growing number of older people who are lonely. Open 24/7, The Silver Line Helpline means no matter the time of day, if you need to speak to someone, we’re there, ready at the end of the phone.

We’re always looking for ways to expand and improve our services. Our primary goal is to let people know, even if there isn’t a local Age UK in your area, that you can still source guidance through our national helplines and website.

Getting older often brings new challenges, but there’s no need for you to face those problems alone. We provide free independent support to help you begin this next chapter of your life by putting your best foot forward.

The Age UK Advice Line is open 365 days a year from 8am to 7pm and it’s free to call. Contact 0800 169 65 65, email your enquiry or join a webchat to talk to a friendly adviser.

Visit ageuk.org.uk to find out more about Age UK's Telephone Friendship service and sign up.

Call The Silver Line Helpline to access support 24 hours a day, on 0800 470 8090.