Gardens & wildlife

Support For Older People

Lunch clubs, cafes, eating and drinking

  • A Wednesday lunch club for the over-60's runs between 12.30 and 14.30pm at Stanford Avenue Methodist Church situated at the junction of Stanford Avenue and Southdown Avenue: see their calendar.  
  • The Hop50+ - Palmeira Square, Hove BN3 2FL, Tel: 01273 729603 Email: - is open seven days a week. People can create their own experience by browsing through the monthly programme and choosing from a menu of group sessions, trips, health and wellbeing related activities and learning and social opportunities. The Centre Café is open seven days a week and anyone aged 50+ is welcome to visit – maybe for a cup of fresh coffee and a chat, or to take part in activities with friendly company and a homemade lunch.
  • Cascade Creative Recovery, 24 Baker Street, BN1 4JN. is a new, not-for-profit community centre and cafe for Brighton & Hove. Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 8pm (open later if there is an event happening) Sunday 11am – 6pm. Telephone number: 07477072956. Run by, and for, people with experience of active recovery from drug & alcohol addiction, the charity’s aims are to provide a supportive peer-led space, informal access to information, as well as a range of other courses, workshops & social activities.
  • Eat Well As You Age: helpful information on what to eat to prevent malnutrition as we get older. Download booklet on what to eat
  • Drink Wise Age Well aims to help people make healthier choices about their drinking as they age. We provide information on alcohol and getting older to allow you to make informed choices about your alcohol use. We provide information on alcohol unit guidelines, tips for cutting down and where and how to get help if you need it.
  • Lifelines is a volunteer-led project supporting people aged 50 and over in Brighton. LifeLines runs activities and one-to-one support schemes to help older people stay more active and better engaged with their communitiesThrough volunteering, older volunteers experience reduced loneliness and isolation, become more physically active and leave their home more, socialising more and making new friends with people of all ages. Many volunteers on the project have called LifeLines their lifeline, especially those who volunteered after losing a loved one.

Age UK Brighton & Hove offers a number of services:
including information & advice on welfare benefits, legal help, care homes, money matters, consumer and utility bills.

Care Quality Commission - checks all hospitals, dentists, care homes, domiciliary care services in England to ensure they are meeting government standards, and shares their findings with the public.

The Carers Centre The Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove is a local charity which exists to support anyone caring for a partner, relative or friend who needs help because of illness, disability, substance misuse or old age. The Carers Centre was originally established in 1988 as a drop-in centre in Hove. Since then we have expanded to cover Brighton & Hove. We have a team of twenty full and part-time staff, the majority of whom offer direct support to carers.

Possability People Possability People - Supporting disabled people to live independently, with dignity and without prejudice

Transport & access Easylink Community Transport provides accessible, safe and affordable transport to community groups, voluntary sector organisations and individuals with mobility difficulties. It offers a door-to-door service for disabled and older people, including wheelchair users who find it difficult or impossible to use the normal bus service. Their minibuses pick you up from your front door and return you back again. The drivers can carry your shopping to your front door. Return fares range from £3.50 to local supermarkets and £5 to £12 going further afield.

Taxi Voucher scheme (Tel: 01273 291924 or Minicom: 01273 291907) - for people unable to use public transport because of a disability.

British Red Cross (Tel: 01903 207191), Transport and escort service Door-to-door assistance for people who cannot get about easily or use public transport. Email: information@redcross

Motability Car scheme for disabled people (Tel: 0845 456 4566) Transfer your higher rate Disability Living Allowance in exchange for a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter on contract hire or hire purchase scheme.

Blue Badge Scheme (Tel: 01273 296270) - For disabled car parking permit.

Shopmobility - the hire of wheelchairs, electric mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs - is offered by the Centre for Independent Living, now known as “Possability People”.

Medical Equipment e.g. wheelchairs & crutches,Sussex Community NHS Trust is the main provider of NHS community health services across West Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Their coverage includes the wheelchair and special seating service.

Minimising personal risks, panic alarms & TelecareThe Falls and Fractures Prevention Service can advise on factors which carers may be able to change both in relation to living environment ( e.g. furniture, room layout, grab rails, useful mobility aids/bed attachments/sensors) and in relation to the health of the person experiencing frequent falls e.g. reviewing medication/body liquids/diet/physical exercise. Drowsiness or something (such as a urine infection) which can easily be treated may be contributing to weakness.

Carelink Plus (Tel: 01273 673105) - 24 hour personal alarm scheme if you live alone and are older, disabled or vulnerable. Email:

Free smoke alarms / Fire & Electrical Safety East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offer free smoke alarms and home fire safety visits to eligible homes across East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove.

Monitoring from another room e.g. at night [Please note that the following should not be used as substitutes for the lifeline/red button pendant which the person in your care could need to wear at all times to access help]

[circa £70] Wireless Care Alarm Kit with Large Bed Leaving Sensor Mat - includes a sensor mat, transmitter and pager (receiver). Ideal for monitoring an elderly patient who requires assistance when getting out of bed.The system alerts the carer immediately via the wireless portable pager that the person has left their bed. The Bed Sensor can be switched to alert when pressure is removed from the pad (when a person gets up out of their bed) or when pressure is applied to the pad (for instance if placed on the floor by the bed / under a door mat / at a doorway, and this is walked on.

[circa £46] Philips AVENT SCD510 DECT Baby Monitor - this unit can be used for monitoring a person of any age. A belt clip is also supplied with the portable cordless parent unit, allowing the carer to move freely around the house while remaining in touch with the person you are looking after.

[circa £19] 2 Station Wired Intercom with connecting cable Easy to operate and install, wired master/slave system. Carer can listen into any noise in the vicinity of the slave unit (placed in locations where a person may be at risk) by turning on the master unit. Someone in need of assistance can use the bell-push on the slave unit to buzz the master unit (while the latter is switched OFF). The carer can also hold in a button on the master unit to reverse the direction of the sounds so that they can talk to somebody requesting help. Same as the intercom used in the porches of many tall dwellings.

[circa £15] Twin 100 meter radius Home Remote Wireless Doorbell Door Bell Chime-UK Plug in type - the door bell may be mounted in a downstairs loo or on bedside or other furniture while the chimes can be plugged into mains sockets in rooms where people who can provide help are sleeping or working.

Equipment for use during powercuts sell a range of big-button and easy-to-use phones and mobiles suitable for people with loss of hearing and sight.

Portable battery (or mains powered) 12 LED lamp for maximum brightness

12 LED Wind Up Energy Saving Large Lantern more powerful than most wind-up torches, this can be used safely during powercuts in the absence of suitable battery operated lighting, avoiding the use of candles / fire risks.

Mobility equipment & furniture for people at risk of falling
Rollators and grab rails, a Brighton-based company, can supply wheeled walkers and related equipment such as grab rails.

A lightweight aluminium rollator with 8-inch wheels for outdoor use incorporating seat and basket kept my father mobile for some time. He used this one both indoors and outside the house. The aluminium metal was light enough for him to push and the wheels were large enough to turn easily. The seat proved invaluable when he got very tired.

Living-room layout needs to allow space for a rollator so that the brake cables do not get caught on drawer or cupboard door handles and the user can always go forwards without having to reverse out of cul-de-sacs or corners. Many older people have a tendency to lean back. Walking backwards with a rollator (something I had to discourage my dad from doing) involves the high probability of a fall.

Zimmer frames versus (or as well as) rollators
A zimmer frame (parked at the top of the stairs on the landing) might still be a useful additional aid to cover the final part of a journey to an upstairs bathroom.

However, the rollator generally proved more useful to my father than his two zimmer frames. Before he became more or less wheelchair bound, I would say that the rollator was his most useful walking aid.

With brakes on, the arms of the rollator were also very useful for my father to hold onto while getting up out of chairs. Finding him suitably high seats, which could swivel and fit under tables, proved a non-starter. His Occupational Therapist censured my search for a hairdesser's salon height adjustable chair with wooden arms, recommending instead that it was time to get him a wheelchair. For a while, it was still possible for him to use the rollator alongside the wheelchair, which became the seat he used at his dining table. By this time, it had become necessary to get him a dual-motor riser-recliner as his main living-room chair.

The seat height should correspond with the measurement from the ground (sole of the user's foot) to the user's knee joint. Seat Depth can be an inch or two greater than the measurement from the back of the knee-joint to the user's posterior. The best person to give advice on size is an Occupational Therapist after taking the appropriate measurements. The usual sizes on offer are:

  • Large - Seat Height 49.5 cm (19.5”); Seat Depth 54 cm (21.25")
  • Medium - Seat Height - 47 cm (18.5”); The Seat Depth - 51 cm (20")
  • Small - Seat Height - 44 cm (17.5") / Seat Depth - 42 cm (16.5")

Protecting bedding without creating discomfort Washable bed pads - Kylies Double and Single sizes

Hippychick Mattress Protector Fitted Sheet - 140 x 190cm Double

Clothing for easy-removal &/or hot-wash cycles 'Black trousers' with side zip openings and Velcro fly are available from

Side Elasticated Waist Pleat Front Trouser may be helpful for greater comfort and relatively easy removal. Try They also supply products such as 100% cotton pyjama pants and nightshirts which are Machine Washable at higher temperatures than those recommended for more delicate fabrics. Fully Machine Washable Brushed Cotton Mens Winter Pyjamas can also be obtained fairly cheaply at

Disposable clothing, examination gloves and wipes A large range of disposable incontinence products, disposable incontinence pads, incontinence pants and shaped incontinence pads, is available from

Sight and hearing loss
Any UK citizen over 60 is entitled to a free NHS eye-test every two years. Persons who find it hard to get around, whether through age or disability, can get their free eye-tests done by a visiting optician.

Eyes at Home (Free phone 0800-3457509; Mobile 07748 020315; Email: is a Hove-based service providing a Home Visiting Community Optician for residents throughout East & West Sussex. Those aged 60 or over, who have difficulty in getting to an optician through illness or disability, are entitled to a free NHS sight test and may be entitled to help towards the cost of spectacles.

City Synergy: Social activities for people with sight loss

Sussex Hearing Centre (Phone 01243-872000 or e-mail to arrange an appointment) provides a comprehensive hearing service in the comfort of your own home and FREE Hearing tests & hearing aid assessments by fully qualified and registered hearing aid audiologists.

Sussex Deaf Association Tel: 01273 671899 - provides advocacy, benefit, welfare advice, communication support, and social facilities.

What to do when someone dies There is a useful guide from GOV.UK at

This page was last updated by Ted on 07-Mar-2022
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