Keeping older people safe and well at home

Fact sheet
Our fact sheets help you find resources beyond the British Geriatrics Society website
British Geriatrics Society
Date Published:
21 April 2020
Last updated: 
22 September 2021

These resources have been developed to help keep older people safe at home by reducing deconditioning and falls hazards, supporting people with conditions such as dementia or Parkinson's, and improving overall wellbeing to help to keep their minds and bodies active.

This is particularly relevant for shielding and isolated older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also applies more generally to older people who live without assistance in their own homes and might be exposed to other risk factors or hazards.

This booklet is aimed at older people, many of whom have no access to the internet, drawing on evidence-based research. It was developed by the University’s of Manchester's Healthy Ageing Research Group alongside the Ageing Hub at Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
Keeping Well at Home

This checklist has been developed by Sussex Health and Care Partnership for older people to help identify and address potential falls hazards in their homes.

Patient Home Environment Checklist

This resource has been compiled by the Health Innovation Network (HIN), the Academic Health Science Network for South London, to support the provision of activities in older adult inpatient settings and care homes during the national response to COVID-19.

A patient leaflet developed for older people who are isolating or sheilding during the COVID-19 pandemic, created by Plymouth City Council and Livewell South West. 

The resources  have been developed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) for people with mobility difficulties to build activity into their day at home. 

Resources to support discharge of patients at risk from inactivity

Developed by the IDEAL project, these leaflets contain simple tips for people living with dementia and their families and carers on staying safe and well during the COVID-19 outbreak.

How to stay well during the coronavirus outbreak: 5 key messages for people living with dementia and carers 

This booklet on supporting carers and care staff to understand and respond to changes in behaviour in people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic was written by Dr Frances Duffy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Jill Richardson, Associate Psychologist from CLEAR Dementia Care and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NI).

Supporting people with dementia during COVID-19 

A short illustrated story about a cross-generational falls strategy featuring George (who is 79-and-a-quarter) and his granddaughter Martha (who is 7-and-a-half). It was written by physiotherapist Oli Williams.

George's Race

Health and wellbeing at home: Advice and resources for everyone spending more time indoors
Active at home

Aims to provide specialist, evidence based, effective exercise training for health and exercise professionals working with older people, frailer older people and stroke survivors.

Later life training on YouTube
10 Today is an audio-based exercise programme from Sport England and Demos designed for older people to protect against poor health and improve mental health and maintain independence, available via BBC Sounds.
Keep On Keep Up (KOKU) is an award-winning NHS and Orcha approved platform which aims to assist older adults to independently engage with evidence-based strength and balance exercises and includes games on how to maintain bone health, home safety and staying hydrated. It is currently available in the App store for iPad use (not smartphone) and can be downloaded as long as the user has an iPad. Simply search for the name 'Keep on Keep up' and click download. It is offered as free to use, for anyone who is able to access and download it. It has been certified and approved by NHS Digital and is GDPR and safety compliant. It is based on health behaviour change theory and incorporates the OTAGO/FAME falls prevention exercise intervention programmes. Trials in Greater Manchester, Nottingham and Texas have found that KOKU has high usability with trends in improved outcomes (balance, health status and confidence) after 6 weeks independent use.

HowFit is an innovative fitness plan conceived by North Tyneside and Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) designed to help people of all ages to get fit in their own homes. The programme encourages users of any ability to undertake a plan of simple exercises arranged in three levels progressing from chair-based to push-ups. These exercises can be carried out at home without the need for special equipment. It suggests exercises focusing on mobility, stability, balance, co-ordination, strength and cardiovascular health, with three difficulty levels to choose from.


A programme of strength and balance exercises with demonstration videos, plus a self-check online tool from NHS Inform (Scotland).

Strength and balance exercises from NHS Inform

Falls Assistant is a falls prevention and self-management tool specifically designed and created to help prevent falls, keep people steady on their feet and stay as independent as possible. It enables older people, their carers and family members to assess their own falls risk, and then provides tailored advice that will give them a plan to reduce their future risk of falls and fractures. This resource has been developed by NHS 24’s Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT) as part of the European SmartCare programme.

It includes information on falls, falls assessment, an exercise centre with downloadable customised plans, as well as advice and information.

Falls Assistant

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