Counsel and Care

Counsel and Care

Charity logo
Formation 1954
Legal status Advice Service
Purpose/focus Advice and help for older people, their family and carers
Location Bonny Street, Camden, London, UK[1]
Region served UK
Website Counsel and Care

Counsel and Care is a national advice service working with older people, their families and carers to get the best care and support.



Counsel and Care srated its life in 1954 when its founders, Bob Graham and Joceline Owen, were prompted to take action as a result of what they experienced as King’s Fund researchers when they witnessed the loneliness and poverty suffered by many older people. They identified a central problem – that older people in need of medical and nursing care could not be admitted to hospitals because the beds were occupied by other older people – patients who were no longer in need of that care, but who could not be discharged because there was nowhere else for them to go. Bob and Joceline collected two hundred pounds from amongst their friends, and funded the move of two hospitalised patients into privately run nursing home.

They set up the Elderly Invalids Fund when they had sustained success in collecting charitable funding from other sources to support the move of people out of hospital into care homes.

Improvements in social care legislation meant that care for the poorest older people became the full responsibility of the state and local authorities, and so it became evident that the role of the fund should broaden from financial support for the few, to advice to many thousands of older people and their families.

The Elderly Invalids Fund became Counsel and Care for the Elderly in 1974.

After 57 years as an independent charity, Counsel and Care merged with the older people's charity Independent Age, registered charity number 210729 in July 2011. This meant that a broader range of services could be provided than either charity could provide separately.


Counsel and Care's Graham Lecture and Media Awards 2010.
A Laura Bradder winning the award for 'Best Portrayal of Support for Older People 2010'.
Laura Bradder winning the award for 'Best Portrayal of Support for Older People 2010'.

Counsel and Care's independent, dedicated and sympathetic two tier advice service offers information and support to around 250,000 older people, their families and carers a year. They advise on a range of community care issues, including finding and paying for a care home, getting a needs assessment, welfare benefits, and hospital discharge. They also produce a range of guides and factsheets that are available on their website or can be ordered over the telephone.Today, with an ageing population, where 3 out of 5 people aged 65 and over will need care, Counsel and Care’s advice service is needed more than ever.

Counsel and Care's advice service can partner with other organisations including local authorities, healthcare providers, housing associations and employers to help them meet the care and support needs of residents, patients, tenants and employees.

Counsel and Care also help befriending schemes to connect with each other through their Vtallinks prject. Their goal is to reduce loneliness and isolation by raising the profile of befriending for older people and filling the gaps in provision across England and Wales. VitalLinks is a national network of befriending schemes for older people.[2][3]


The Policy and Communications Team at Counsel and Care works to influence government, the media and other stakeholders to get the best care and support for older people. Older people's concerns and experiences reported to their advice service help inform their campaigning work. In 1998, Counsel and Care called for a national regulator as older people living in care homes were threatened by constant management changes.[4] The charity was one of the first to support a "death tax" as a method to fund the care of the elderly.[5][6]

Counsel and Care are working with Age UK Oxfordshire, Independent Age and WRVS on a new Campaign to End Loneliness and create connections in older age. The campaign has been initially been funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The campaign will work with many other organisations to provide solutions to this pressing problem at a time when our population is ageing and funding cuts will impact on the lives of older people


Media awards

Counsel and Care host an annual competition with the aim of highlighting good examples of media coverage of older people and ageing from the radio, print media, television and the internet. The 2010 awards included: Best Portrayal of Care and Support for Older People,Best portrayal of older carer(s), Best Provision of Advice for Older People,Best portrayal of older people's positive contribution, Best Portrayal of Dementia Care and Overall Winner.[7]

Regional awards

Counsel and Care were the charity partner for the Carer's Award category for the 2010 regional awards.[8] The Carer’s Award is a new category for the Great British Care Awards, and will be given to an unpaid carer who in the opinion of the judges can demonstrate commitment and perseverance in the care they give.


  1. ^ "Contact and Trustees - 203429 - COUNSEL AND CARE FOR THE ELDERLY". UK Charity Commission. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Organisations Case Studies - Reach Volunteering". Reach. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  3. ^ VitalLinks: nurturing emotional well-being in older people through one-to-one communication. Pier Professional. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Elderly threatened by care home merry-go-round". BBC News (BBC). 1 September 1998. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Donnelly, Laura; Patrick Sawer (14 February 2010). "special report Tony Blair pledged 13 years ago that the elderly would not have to sell their homes to fund care. Why has nothing changed? IT IS one of the most painful dilemmas for any family. ......". Sunday Telegraph (London England: InfoTrac Full Text Newspaper Database): p. 14. Retrieved 8 September 2010. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Triggle, Nick (11 February 2010). "Council chiefs back 'death tax' to fund social care". BBC News. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Awards Celebrate Positive Portrayal Of Older People". Media Trust. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  8. ^ National Award To Recognise Unpaid Carers

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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