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  • Help and support

Older people

Learning how best to support older people

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Reviewing our programmes that have supported older people helps us to identify service gaps. It also highlights what works best. At the same time, our Foresight work is helping us identify emerging and future areas of need. This is particularly important for the UK's ageing population. Our research helps us identify which sorts of projects we should fund in the future.

Our review of funding for older people identifies several areas of need for older people. These include:

  • health and social care
  • independent living
  • poverty and social exclusion
  • employment and education
  • active citizenship.

Public service provision, well-being and digital isolation are growing areas of need too. We also know that different needs can be particularly prevalent amongst specific groups. In addition we have found that there is a growing issue for older people and drug misuse.


We have seen that our older people programmes can bring a range of benefits. These can include improved health, well-being and social inclusion. They can also increase community engagement and voice.

You can use the links below to find out more. We’re learning more about growing older people’s contribution to society through our Silver Dreams Fund evaluation. Our Veterans Reunited evaluation highlights how we can commemorate the Second World War and learn from survivors.

More about the research

During Dementia Awareness Week 2015, we carried out a survey to help improve our understanding of the best ways to support people living with dementia and help inform our funding decisions. We put together a summary of the findings from the survey and have also published a full copy of the responses we received.

Research carried out in the Summer of 2014 by the University of Bedfordshire shows that both illicit drug use and medication addition is a growing problem for older people across the UK. The report highlights six priorities for funders that have emerged from the study. For more information read the report below under Publications.

In 2006 we commissioned the Policy Studies Institute to review our support for older people. For our work, we think of older people as those people over the age of 50. Our review considers how we, and our predecessor (Community Fund and New Opportunities Fund) support older people.


Summary of findings from our dementia survey
Full responses to our dementia survey
The forgotten people: drug problems in later life
Review of older people programmes report
Review of older people programmes report summary