Living independently at home in Sussex is more than possible thanks to a range of organisations and services that you might be able to access. This is our guide to some of them which can help with a wide range of day to day tasks from shopping to cleaning, and companionship.
Befriending services, run by several different charities and organisations, offer social interaction and companionship to older people living alone.
Time to Talk Befriending is one such charity, founded to reduce loneliness among older people in Sussex.
The charity’s inter-generational team of volunteers are partnered with older people who they visit at home once a week. The scheme aims to reduce isolation by forming strong friendships between service users and volunteers.
Age UK also offers similar befriending services across Sussex, in person or over the phone, as does Brighton & Hove Impetus’ Neighbourhood Care Scheme. Also, the Befriending Coalition is an alliance of befriending services who provide information on local services.
If you have an elderly relative who is struggling to keep up with their household chores, like cleaning, shopping, gardening or walking the dog, you can employ a home helper to support them.
For example, Age UK run their ‘Help at Home’ service across Sussex to assist older people with domestic tasks around the house. Reliable paid helpers visit older people at home to help them sustain an independent life.
They offer help with various household tasks including cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, vacuuming and helping with the laundry. They can also go shopping for you or walk your dog. You can get a free home visit to determine your needs and then they charge hourly for every home visit.
You could directly employ a personal assistant to perform similar tasks in the home, searching for registered providers using the Care Quality Commission’s website. Alternatively, you can arrange help in the home from a provider through your local council, using these links:
- Brighton & Hove City Council – Home Care
- West Sussex County Council – Getting help at home
- East Sussex County Council – Help at home
Help with Driving and Transport
Driving is likely to become more challenging and the implications of no longer being able to drive are both emotional and practical. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to be mobile.
The Blue Bird Community Partnership is a charity who provide community transport in Mid Sussex, via community buses and volunteer drivers.
You can also find out about more community transport from your local council who list relevant providers in East Sussex and West Sussex. In Brighton & Hove, the council offers the Easy Link community bus service to help less mobile people get around the city.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels are a long running meal delivery service. The service brings hot and healthy meals to an older person’s front door, supporting those who struggle to cook healthy meals at home or have difficulty shopping.
The Royal Voluntary Service is the original provider of Meals on Wheels and offer a variety of meal choices and cater to any dietary and cultural requirements. As well as delivering hot food, they also offer frozen options which can be stored and enjoyed later.
Also, their drivers don’t just deliver the food, they regularly check the service users are safe and healthy and often are a welcome source of interaction.
Similar food delivery services include: