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Staying independent

Older man reading book

Living independently - for longer

Most people over the age of 85 are able to remain living independently in their own homes in Peterborough.

There are lots of things you can do remain living independently in the community for as long as possible. This section provides details of support that is available to help you do this.

Many people move to a more suitable home as they get older, so they are able to stay independent for life.  You can find out more on the Housing Options page.

Home Services Delivery Team

image of an electronic timer

The Home Service Delivery Team at Peterborough City Council is a multi skilled team covering all aspects of your needs at home.  We can work with to provide a seamless service so that you can remain living in your own home safely and independently for longer.  Services include:

Equipment and adaptations to help you stay safe at home can be found:

Care and Repair and the Handy Person Scheme

Handyman's tool belt

Care and Repair

Care and Repair is a Home Improvement Agency within Peterborough City Council. It assists older, vulnerable and disabled (adults and children) to repair, maintain and adapt their homes. This enables independent living and ensures people's homes are warm and safe.  The Care and Repair Team also deliver aids and adaptations that help to prevent falls and accidents in the home.   You can find out about equipment on our Equipment and Adaptations page.

You can find more information on getting support to stay independent in your own home on the Care and Repair page.

Handy Person Scheme

The council runs a Handy Person Scheme.  The handyperson scheme offers assistance to households solely occupied by vulnerable, older and/or disabled residents. This service is to maintain, repair and to assist people to continue to live independently in their home and is mainly for small non-urgent repairs.  

You can find more information on getting support to stay independent in your own home on the Care and Repair page.

NRS Safe and Well

Safe and 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.

The new Safe+Well service intends to provide a one-stop solution which offers people the opportunity to buy equipment to support them in activities around the home and personal care tasks, such as commodes, walking sticks, kitchen trolleys and bathing equipment.

Local residents can contact Safe+Well to:

  • Complete a simple online questionnaire at about things they are finding difficult at home, which recommends daily living aids that may help them with these tasks and activities
  • Talk to an Occupational Therapist (OT) on the telephone about what equipment may help them
  • Book a home assessment for £99, where an OT will spend some time at the person’s home, finding out what they are having difficulty with and observing them doing tasks. The Safe+Well OT will then send an easy to understand, bespoke report on how they can approach tasks differently and what daily living aids could help them
  • Purchase daily living aids from NRS Healthcare, or from a carefully selected and approved group of local mobility shops

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

VAT relief for disabled people  

If you are disabled or have a long-term illness, you will not be charged VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use. Also, you will not be charged VAT on:

  • the installation and any extra work needed as part of this

  • repairs or maintenance

  • spare parts or accessories

You can find out more on website

Stay fit to stay independent

Older ladies exercising

Advice from Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health at Peterborough City Council

“It’s never too early or too late to take steps to ensure that you remain fit and independent for as long as possible. A combination of strengthening exercises at least twice a week and 150 minutes of aerobic exercise is best to build, or maintain fitness. (Find out more about exercising - 

Doing the right type of strengthening exercises is important.  You can find out more on our Stronger for Longer page.

Gadgets and devices to use around the home


All of us use technology every day.  For example lighting, telephones and vehicles make our lives easier. Choosing the right equipment and 'gadgets' will help you stay independent, and increase your confidence inside and outside your home.

Making things easier in the kitchen

here is a wide range of kitchen aids including non-spill mugs , easy-use cutlery, special bowls and tools to help with food preparation.  You can buy special cups which remind you to drink enough.

You can buy kettle tippers or kettles designed to make it safer to make a cup of tea.

Find out more about help with eating and drinking.

Gadgets for the living room

If it is getting harder to use the telephone or television you can buy easy to use telephones and big button remote controls.

An extra loud doorbell can help you to hear when people come round.

Bathroom, washing and toilet aids

There are tools which can help with:

Bed aids

You can buy equipment such as:

Steps, stairs and moving around your home

  • You can buy ramps and hand rails to help with steps and stairs.
  • Some people choose to move to a more suitable home, such as a bungalow. 
  • If you have the space and facilities you could choose to live downstairs.
  • Depending on your home and circumstances, a stairlift may be an option.

Technology Enabled Care

Technology Enabled Care covers a wide variety of equipment, gadgets and devices, both simple and complex that can promote your independence and enable you to live at home for longer.

You can find out more on our Technology Enabled Care page.


Meals, housework and laundry

Lady preparing lunch

There are a range of organisations who can help you with household tasks.  You can search for ‘home care providers’ and ‘domestic support’ in the category lists on this page.


Our hot meals service, provided by ICare, can a deliver a daily hot meal and dessert to people in their own homes, all year round between 12 noon and 2 pm. We can also arrange to supply you with frozen meals and a microwave oven if needed. Anyone who lives in Peterborough can apply.

Additional services are a home shopping service and a sandwich pack delivered with the hot meal ready for tea time.

You can find out more on ICare's website.

Keeping your home warm

Keeping warm in winter

LEAP (Local Energy Advice Programme) is a new free energy and money saving advice service.  LEAP can help you to save money and to keep your home warm and cosy.

The Care and Repair service offer help and advice about keeping your home warm, safe and dry during the winter months. We can also put you in touch with other organisations that may be able to help, subject to eligibility:

  • access to small amounts of gas safety council funding which may be used for gas issues

  • access to central heating and boiler replacement grants

  • vulnerable and disabled people assistance with charitable funding searches

  • external wall insulation scheme for park homes

If you were born on or before 5 January 1953, you may be eligible for between £100 to £300 in winter fuel payments.


Home Energy and Fuel Poverty


LEAP (Local Energy Advice Programme) is a new free energy and money saving advice service.   LEAP can help you to save money and to keep your home warm and cosy.

There may be help from the government for energy efficiency and fuel poverty, through a project called Eco, which is accessed through LEAP. 

Further information on grants available from Peterborough City Council can be found on the Care and Repair page.


Elderly man with kettle


Reablement is a programme of short term support tailored to your individual needs, to help you (re)learn the skills needed for daily living and reduce the amount of care and support you need. 

Reablement is about helping people to do things for themselves rather than having things done for them.

Reablement programmes can last from as little as a few days to a maximum of six weeks.

The service is focused on helping you achieve goals that you set yourself, in conjunction with the Reablement team, to maintain your independence.

As well as the satisfaction people gain from being able to do more things for themselves, input from the reablement service is likely to lead to less need for longer term care and support and often no ongoing care is required.

You can find more information on our Reablement page.

Home Care Guidance

logo for NICE

A guideline provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) covers the planning and delivery of care for older people living independently in their own home. The guideline aims to promote independence and to ensure safe and consistent home care services for older people. The guideline is for:

  • Health and social care practitioners
  • Home care provider organisations
  • Home care managers and workers
  • Older people using or planning to use home care services, and their carers.

View the full NICE guideline on home care.

Eligibility for social care support and social care assessment

Man writing on pad

Social Care Assessment

If you struggle to carry out everyday tasks, you can get support to help you do things easily and safely, which may help you to live independently. 

We can give information and advice to help you find the care and support that you need.

We may be able to give you equipment or show you activities that will improve your ability, known as reablement.

If, after trying these options, you still feel that you need more support we can consider a social care assessment.  This is a simple discussion to find out how much care and support you may need and what options are available to you.

An assessment must be carried out to help us decide whether you need care and support to help with your everyday life. It will be carried out by a trained assessor, such as a social care worker, who will consider things like:

  • your needs and how they impact on your wellbeing - for example, you may need help getting dressed or getting to work
  • the outcomes that matter to you – for example, whether you are lonely and want to make new friends
  • your other circumstances - for example, whether you live alone or whether someone supports you
  • depending on your circumstances, there may be a charge for your support.

The aim of an assessment is to get a full picture of your needs, goals and outcomes of support you may need.

The law says that we must consider other things that could contribute to your outcomes. This might mean offering you a period of reablement, or referring you to a voluntary sector organisation. We are also required to consider the wider needs of your family.

Request an assessment

To request a social care assessment, please contact the Adult Early Help Team on 01733 747474. If you would prefer to complete a self-assessment we will offer you support to do so.

The information gained from your social care assessment will help to make a decision on which services are required to meet your needs to maintain your independence.

Eligibility for social care help

Adults who meet the eligibility criteria for support are defined as their needs are caused by physical or mental impairment or illness. As a consequence, there is or is likely to be, a significant impact on their wellbeing. The result of these needs are that they are either unable to achieve two or more specified outcomes:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  • maintaining personal hygiene
  • managing toilet needs
  • being appropriately clothed
  • being able to make use of the home safely
  • maintaining a habitable home environment
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities or services 
  • carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child.

An adult is to be regarded as being unable to achieve an outcome if the adult:

  • is unable to achieve it without assistance
  • is able to achieve it without assistance but doing so causes the adult significant pain, distress or anxiety
  • is able to achieve it without assistance but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of the adult, or of others
  • is able to achieve it without assistance but takes significantly longer than would normally be expected.