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Staying Safe (Adults)

Elderly man with head injury

Staying Safe

There are lots of potential hazards in our homes but if you're aware of the danger areas and unsafe habits, you are more likely to be able to keep yourself safe. There are preventive measures you can take and sources of help and advice.

More accidents take place in the home than anywhere else, particularly in the kitchen and on the stairs. It’s important to keep your home well-lit and clutter free to avoid falls.

To ensure you remain safe at home, you may like to think about some of the preventative measures:

Technology Enabled Care 
Fire Safety Information


Avoiding Falls

Ladies seated doing exercises

Preventing falls

Improving safety in the home can help prevent you from having falls and injuring yourself, whilst allowing you to continue to live independently.

Falls, slips and trips can lead to broken hips or wrists and other injuries, and are a leading cause of disability among the older population. Falls in the home can result in ill health, lengthy hospital stays, residential care, loss of independence, and can greatly affect your quality of life.

Various aspects of the home environment can be improved to reduce the risk of having a fall. Family, friends, neighbours and carers can help make things safer for you while allowing you to stay independent and self-sufficient.  Following are some tips on avoiding falls:

  • Make sure that the hallway and stairs have working lights - if possible replace the bulbs with low energy bulbs and keep light on overnight

  • Wear slippers with an appropriate heel so that they stay firmly on the feet

  • Regular gentle exercise can help reduce the risk and fear of falling.  Strength and balance exercise and Tai Chi is particularly helpful for improving balance

  • Have grab rails installed at key sites around the home or at the entrance to the home  (please refer to the Peterborough City Council Handy Person Scheme)

  • Fasten down any torn bits of carpet or lino

  • Avoid tripping over the edge of rugs by either removing them or fastening down the edges

  • Review medication with your GP or pharmacist

  • Ensure that you look after your feet and ask for a referral to a podiatrist if you are worried about your feet

  • Speak to your occupational therapist who can give you lots of advice

Identify your risk factors for falling

Use our guide Stay Stay stronger for Longer - A Peterborough guide to staying steady and doing the things you enjoy  to find out more about the simple things you can do to help you stay steady, mobile and independent.

Strength and balance programme

You can find information about our strength and balance programme on our Stay Stronger for Longer (Adults) web page.


Missing vulnerable people - The Herbert Protocol

logo for the herbert protocol

What is The Herbert Protocol?

When a friend or family member with dementia goes missing it can be incredibly distressing.

The Herbert Protocol is a national initiative which encourages carers to keep a record of key information that could be useful to them in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.

The Cambridgeshire Constabulary have set up the scheme locally, alongside partners including the Dementia Action Alliance.

Carers are being asked to download the form, fill it in and keep it updated so that it is ready to hand or send to them should it ever be needed. This will help to save vital time when locating the missing vulnerable person you care for.

Helpful information includes phone numbers, places the person often goes, medication they are taking, a photograph of them and more.

This form is not intended to replace existing safeguarding or security measures.

Download a copy of the herbert protocol form.

Strength and balance exercises can keep you stronger for longer

Older people exercising

Strength and balance exercises

We all want to continue to share our lives with loved ones as we get older, such as playing with grandchildren and socialising with friends. Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are proven to keep you stronger for longer, independent and enjoying the great things in life, whether by joining a class or doing it yourself at home.

For more information on classes and activities in your area, take a look at the Healthy Peterborough web pages 

Worried about a friend or family member

mother being hugged by her daughter

Do you have any worries or concerns?

We all want to do the best for our loved ones, and to help them stay safe, well and independent.

You may have noticed a change in behaviour. Maybe you are concerned about their wellbeing or ability to take care of themselves. 

There are lots of reasons why you may be concerned about someone. You will find details of some of the most common causes for concern on our 'Worried about a friend or family member' web page. Most people want to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible. There may be simple ways you can help them to do this.

Safe + Well

Safe +Well logo

Daily living aids service to help Peterborough residents be safe and well

Peterborough’s new Safe+Well Service, provided by NRS Healthcare, supports local residents who may be older, disabled, recently discharged from hospital (or caring for someone that is) to find ‘daily living aids’ to help with everyday activities and stay independent.

Contact Safe+Well on 01480 415719 or for more information or visit

Protecting yourself against scammers and cold callers

person waving a finger at another person

Different types of scams

There are many different scams you need to be aware of and to know how to avoid.

Which Consumer Rights produces an article providing advice on: 

  • Doorstep selling
  • Nuisance calls and texts
  • Uunwanted post and scams
  • Staying safe on dating websites
  • Pension scams
  • Internet scams

Doorstep safety

Be careful who you invite into your home. Everyone is vulnerable to cold callers and it is often hard to say ‘no’. Research shows that this is particularly true for elderly consumers who are often targeted by rogue salespeople and people offering to carry out work on their home or garden. 

Trading Standards offer a free sticker that goes on your front door with the message “we do not buy or sell at the front door”. Traders who ignore this message may be committing a criminal offence. You may also collect a sticker from Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline by calling on 03454 04 05 06

For further information or if you have an enquiry relating to rogue traders, cowboy builders, telephone and mail scams please contact Trading Standards.

Friends Against Scams 

Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to "Take a Stand Against Scams".

Friends Against Scams has been created to tackle the lack of scams awareness by providing information about scams and those who fall victim to them. This information enables communities and organisations to understand scams, talk about scams and cascade messages throughout communities about scams prevention and protection.

Friends Against Scams encourages communities and organisations to take the knowledge learnt and turn it into action.

Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way. Take a look at their website to find out more information.

Independand Age website - How to avoid a scam

Anyone can fall for a scam – it’s no reflection on your intelligence – but if you know what to look out for, you’re less likely to be taken in. If you have been a victim, don’t keep quiet. There is action you can take to protect yourself and others. Have a look at their website to see more information on this topic.

Recognising and reporting concerns

Lady being abused by carer


All adults aged 18 years and over should be able to live free from fear and harm and have their rights and choices respected.

Abuse can happen anywhere – in a residential or nursing home, in someones own home, in a hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street.  

Information on recognising abuse can be found on our Recognising Abuse page.

Who to call

If you have a concern, suspicion or allegation that an adult is being subjected to harm, abuse or neglect you should contact:

Non-urgent referrals - Peterborough Adult Social Care

Emergency referrals

Within office hours - Peterborough Adult Social Care

  • 01733 747474 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

Outside office hours - Emergency Duty Team 

  • 01733 234724

If you think a crime has taken place, you may call the Police on 101 for non-emergencies or 999 in an emergency.

More information about safeguarding adults

More information can be found on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Board page

If your concern relates to a child or young person, please visit Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

deprivation of liberty safeguards words

What is Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)?

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards aim to protect people in care homes, hospitals and supported living from being inappropriately deprived of their liberty.

More information on DoLS is available on our Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards page 

Olive Branch: Partnership working to improve support and protection for our communities

Cambs fire and rescue logo

What is Olive Branch?

Olive Branch was launched in May 2016, adapted from recognised best practice first conceived in Staffordshire, as a means of educating all organisations and agencies working directly with vulnerable people in the community. 

This includes Voluntary Sector organisations, Charities supporting vulnerable people and Care companies providing supported living amongst others.

The programme involves delivering free of charge training on hazard identification and how these can be different depending on people’s individual circumstances and the nature of their vulnerability, eg: old age, disability or immobility or living alone.

The trained individuals can then refer directly into the service where a vulnerable person is identified. The Service will take action on 100% of “Olive Branch Referrals” received. The first programme was delivered to the Red Cross in Peterborough, where referrals have already been made by volunteer workers.

For more information on Olive Branch contact us at: or on: 0800 917 9994

Silent 999 system

Make yourself heard image

Need urgent help but can't speak?

'Make Yourself Heard’ campaign launched to raise awareness of silent 999 system.

What to do if you need urgent police help through the 999 service but can't speak

The Silent Solution system enables a 999 mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted – to inform police they are in a genuine emergency.

The system is well-established in North Yorkshire and the rest of the UK but is only effective if the public know and understand how it works. It could, in extreme situations, potentially save a life.

Find out more here.

Useful documents provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Board

Safe and Well Visits by the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

Arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service are temporarily taking a risk-based approach to our Safe & Well home visits to avoid the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable groups.

Contact them on 0800 917 9994 in order to request a new alarm or Safe and Well. 

For more information about keeping fire safe in the home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, please download and read their booklet.

You can also contact them via their online form.

What is a Safe and Well visit?

Safe and Well Visits are available to those who are most vulnerable in our community.

This may include those who smoke, have a disability or mental health problems and are prioritised according to individual risk.

They visit residents in their homes, and they assess six key elements. Their visits usually last around one hour, and are completely free of charge.

  1. Fire safety in the home - including cooking, general safety and escape plans.
  2. Falls prevention - including simple remedial action such as replacing lightbulbs or taping down loose carpet.
  3. Alcohol use - Alcohol related hospital admissions are steadily increasing. illness in the over 65s is on the increase. We can provide you with helpful information.
  4. Stay well and warm - Can you afford to heat your home? Do you have access to a hot meal? Do you access the all the services available to you?
  5. Crime reduction - We can provide advice on making your home more secure in addition to advice to make you less vulnerable to scams or fraud
  6. Smoking - need a helping hand to quit? Our partners can offer you the help and advice you need to stop smoking.

They can also provide advice in relation to promoting the health and safety of individuals with hoarding concerns, as well as providing valuable information to care providers.

Who is entitled to a FREE visit ?

Safe and Well Visits are available to those who are most vulnerable in our community.

This may include those who smoke, have a disability or mental health problems and visits are prioritised according to individual risk. Find out if someone is eligible for a free safe and well visit by completing a short questionnaire or contact the automated message line on 0800 917 9994 and leave a message including the persons name, address and daytime phone number to receive a call back.

Pegasus scheme

New scheme launched for people with communication difficulties

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has launched a scheme to improve the service it provides to people with communication difficulties.

Cambridgeshire is among a handful of forces nationwide to implement the Pegasus scheme, which is free-to-join for residents.

It allows police officers and call handlers to quickly find members’ personal details and how they prefer to communicate.

Pegasus scheme

Through Pegasus, information which was previously difficult to provide in tough situations can be accessed immediately, meaning call takers can skip to why they need police.

Each member is given a unique PIN on a card and key fob, and has their name, address and communication preference held on a secure database, which, with their consent, can be shared with other emergency services.

Sign up for the scheme

To sign up for the scheme, fill out the form on the force’s website.

Carers for those with communication difficulties are able to register on their behalf.

How to stay safe online whilst using the internet and social media

This guide is about how to stay safe online whilst using the internet and social media. It will help you to understand some of the risks of using the internet and how to share any safety concerns that you might have. View the Staying safe on the internet guide.


What is Cuckooing?

Cuckooing is where people take over a person’s home and use the property for illegal activity - dealing and/or storing drugs, sex working - as well as somewhere for a group to live or financially exploit the tenant. It takes the name from cuckoos who take over the nests of other birds.

Who is most vulnerable to cuckooing

Exploiters establish a relationship with the vulnerable person to access their home. Once they gain control over the victim - whether through drug dependency, debt or as part of their relationship - larger groups will sometimes move in. Threats are often used to control the victim.

You can read more details on the council's Cuckooing webpage

You can also view our Cuckooing Easy Read leaflet