September 2014, Dawn McCarthy, Information Manager, Independent Age

Dawn_McCarthy (2)I joined Independent Age in April of this year and was immediately impressed by the range of free services the charity offers to over-65s, throughout the UK.

We support thousands of older people through the ‘ABC’ of advice, befriending and campaigning. As the new Information Manager, the ‘A’ is my bread and butter.

My job is to maintain and develop our public information, which includes the unique Wise Guide series. These are jargon-free practical handbooks for older people, full of tips and useful contact details. There are currently four Wise Guides in the series: Advice for later life, Extra help at home, Healthy, happy and connected, and Choosing a care home.

We have had great feedback on these handbooks, which we provide free of charge to both individuals and organisations. I am keen to work closely with other organisations that come in to contact with older people, so that we can reach more people with these fantastic resources. If you think you could help (or want to see some sample copies), please email me (, or call me on 020 7605 4294.

So what else do we do under the ‘A’ for advice?

Every year, our expert advice team receives thousands of calls from older people and their families. They deal with queries about how to get and pay for the care you need, how to question decisions made by a local authority or the NHS, benefits entitlements, and ways to maintain independence. The advisers tailor their advice to the individual, and adhere to the strict standards required by the Advice Quality Standard.

It is the issues that come up time and again on the advice line which have informed our other public information products – the guides and factsheets available on our website. These cover particular issues (such as paying care home fees) in detail, and aim to support people when they are about to make difficult decisions about their own care, or the care of a loved one.

Independent AgeOur advice team also signpost people to our popular telephone and face-to-face befriending services, and TalkTime phone clubs. We have partnerships with several organisations to enable them to take advantage of these services with their members. Again if this would be of interest to you, please get in touch!

You can find out more about all of our services at


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