accessibility & help

Health and social care

Everyone should get the support they need to live independently at home. © InfoPeople should get the skills and confidence they need to live independently.

What's wrong?

The UK’s population is ageing, which is a human success story.

Older people are assets to society and the economy, with much to contribute. Many British Red Cross volunteers are older people who bring huge benefits to people in crisis.

However, living longer does not necessarily mean living well.

We see too many people having to reach the point of social care crisis before they receive support.

What are we calling for?

  • We want to see more people being able to access preventative services, and fewer people reaching the point of social care crisis.
  • Low-level practical and emotional support can help vulnerable people maintain and regain the skills and confidence they need to live independently in their own homes. It can also reduce costs for both individuals and the public purse.
  • We believe preventative services – like the ones we provide across the UK – should be made available to everyone, regardless of level of need or ability to pay.

What does prevention mean?

Our research shows that 'prevention' is understood differently across the country, with some types of prevention understood better than others.

We would like to see all types of prevention recognised and adequately resourced.

Maintaining independence

More of us see losing our independence as the biggest crisis we will face in our personal lives. Research shows that being unable to cope alone is as much a concern to people aged 16 to 24 as it is to people aged 55 and over.

The Care Act 2014 places a new duty on English councils to make sure preventative services are available locally from April 2015.

We are calling on councils to prepare for this.

Snakebite victim Laura Brasher and a Red Cross volunteer

Short-term wheelchair loans

We believe everyone who needs a wheelchair should quickly and easily get one, for as long as they need it.

Sally Driver 87 with care worker Chris.

Prevention in action: resources for local decision makers

Too many people have to reach crisis point before they receive the health and social care support they need.


Advocacy blog posts