I’ve attempted to pull together a definitive list of the links to older adult service providers in Bucks. I’ve also added many available in Oxon. All of them know and support their Local Authority (LA) older adult care services.
If I’ve missed any out, just let me know, I’ll be delighted to add. Check first to see if your area is covered. Similar services will (I hope) exist outside Oxon and Bucks too, so use them as references to help you explore a different LA.
You’ll notice how services differ across Oxon and Bucks (and other) LA county boundaries. This is one of the frustrating things about care services when compared to (national) health services. This is one of the reasons why you may have already found accessing help rather arduous. I hope the links below help.
Local support for living well at home
Age UK Bucks help older people achieve and maintain their independence. Contact them for access to free services such as advice, welfare benefit checks, a telephone befriending service and ‘befriending plus’ home visits. I use their access to local pre-screened (pay as you go) handy people, chiropodists, hairdressers, computer training, home help, garden maintenance and home relocation support. They love to hear from potential volunteers too. Here is the national Age UK site so you can search for support by postcode.
Bucks Prevention Matters is a free short term service for over 18s who don’t receive Bucks County Council funded Social Care. The service helps people with, or recovering from illness build an independent and fulfilling life. This might include making new friends, improving health, feeling confident and safe, learning new skills or hobbies and more. Covers Bucks and Milton Keynes. Referral by GP, carer, family member or self to see a Community Practise Worker.
Care Advice Bucks also provides information about available care services for Bucks residents, whether at home or in residential care.
Dementia UK offers specialist support from Admiral Nurses. Unfortunately not yet in Bucks but they do operate in Oxon if the person living with dementia resides in an Order of the St John Care Trust home.
Local memory services
Wherever you live, if you’re worried about your memory, the Alzheimer’s Society offers a range of memory support services including info and advice, support groups and other help to stay independent. They also organise singing groups and foster dementia friendly environments in the community.
Bucks Mind offer two clubs for older adults living with dementia or memory loss in Chesham and Prestwood. Both aim to support independence for as long as possible. Self referral is possible too. For those with an early on-set dementia diagnosis, Bucks Mind offer a six week course to help maintain wellness. Here’s the national Mind site too.
Lindengate is a mental health charity in Wendover (Bucks) that offers specialised gardening activities that help those over 16 with mental health needs, including dementia. I’ve not been yet, but by all accounts it’s a marvellous place. Your GP or healthcare professional can refer you or you can self refer (from their website).
Advice on local care services
Healthwatch Bucks and Healthwatch Oxon are the equivalent of Tripadvisor for Bucks and Oxon health and social care service providers. We users can rate or give feedback to local hospitals, social care services or dentists etc, often driving change that benefits all. These are also the organisations to contact if you would like information and advice on a specific service provider too.
Local carer support
Carers Bucks. If someone relies on you for help or can’t manage without you, then these guys can support you. For info, advice, training and access to support groups.
Carers Oxfordshire provide similar support to Carers Bucks. They also have an emergency support care service (usually 1 to 48 hours in length, depending on needs) should a carer themselves have an emergency and can no longer care. Oxon carers need to join the service before the emergency! More details here.
Carers Trust Thames is a network of charities that provide info, advice and practical support to carers including respite breaks and specialist personal care across Bucks, Milton Keynes and some West London boroughs.
Help with health and fitness
Live Well Stay Well help find the support needed to get healthier e.g. stop smoking, get more active, reduce stress etc. For all ages in Bucks.
Active Bucks helps all Bucks residents access selected activity sessions (often including a free trial session voucher). My postcode search served up Taekwondo :-).
NHS Bucks I couldn’t find much on their site about dementia or mental impairment support when I used their search function (feel free to put me right), but it’s a useful resource for Bucks health matters.
Help with transport
If transport support is what’s needed, check out Bucks County Council community transport and the Chilterns Dial-a-Ride service. If you live in Aylesbury Vale, you may also be eligible for travel tokens too (if you don’t have a bus pass). These are accepted by some taxi companies in the Vale (check first).
Bucks and Surrey trading standards’ remit includes helping protect older residents from cold calling and scams, offering useful door stickers.
Good luck x