Stay Independent

Being independent doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a helping hand when you need it. In fact, the best way to maintain your independence at home is by getting support in the areas that you find tricky. Sometimes though, when we do need a helping hand, we might not know where to find it so this page focuses on the support services across the county to help you find the support you need.

Food and Essentials


Independent Living Technology

Food and Essentials

Support available from my Supermarket

Most supermarkets are supporting older and vulnerable people
with food and grocery deliveries. The poster details the specific
support each supermarket chain is currently providing.
For information on your local supermarket, click the links below:

Click the poster to enlarge

If you live in Hertfordshire, you can contact HertsHelp who can arrange a volunteer to do your shopping for you. T: 0800 123 4044

If you are shopping for an older adult who is self-isolating, the British Dietetic Association has compiled a list of store-cupboard ideas to help them stay well-stocked at home:

BDA Store-cupboad Ideas

Support as an Extremely Vulnerable person

If you, or someone you care for, has been told that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you can register for extra support including food and other essential deliveries, and care. If you’re not sure if you’re in the extremely vulnerable category, it’s still worth checking. To register, click the button below, or call 0800 028 8327.

Register for extra support

Accessing specific foods

For many people following a specific diet as recommended by a dietitian, the current crisis and limitations at supermarkets can make it difficult to access the right food. Many people with dietary conditions will also not “appear” vulnerable. To address this, the BDA (British Dietetic Association) have created a letter that dietitians can use to help clients access the food they need. While this has been shared with leading supermarkets, we cannot guarantee cooperation.

If you are a HILS meals on wheels client and are concerned about accessing specific foods as part of your dietary requirements, please contact our Nutrition and Wellbeing team on 0330 2000 103.

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If you’re self-isolating, but you need to collect medication from your pharmacy, there are number of options available:

  • You can often have your medication delivered by your pharmacy: Speak to your GP, or pharmacy, to get more information about the options available in your local area. You can also ask for the delivery to be left outside your door if you’re self-isolating.
  • Someone can collect your medication for you: just tell the pharmacy that you’re happy for the allocated person to collect your prescription. Most prescriptions are sent electronically to the pharmacy, so you don’t need to hand in a paper prescription.
  • If no one is available to collect your medication, you can ask your GP or community pharmacist to refer you to receive help from an NHS volunteer responder. Not only can they help collect your medicine, but they can go food shopping, take you to essential appointments, and even just be a companion to talk to.

Find out more, including what to do if you need to see your GP, here:

Accessing medication

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Independent Living Technology

Community Alarm

A community alarm is a small pendant that you can wear around your wrist or your neck, that you can press if you ever fall or become unwell at home. When you press the pendant, an experienced call operator will speak to you to determine what help you may need. Herts Careline are still installing community alarms across Hertfordshire, with contactless installation measures to ensure you stay safe. Go to the Herts Careline website for more information:

Community Alarm


A keysafe can support your independence by allowing trusted people to access your property if you’re unable to come to the door. During this period, a key safe can help to reduce the need to come into contact with essential visitors, such as meals on wheels delivery drivers. When Herts Careline install a community alarm, they can include a keysafe free of charge. HILS can also provide and install key safes as a stand-alone item, if you don’t want a community alarm. Please be aware that during the coronavirus outbreak, HILS will only be installing emergency key safes which are necessary for the provision of food or care.

HILS Keysafes

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Our response to COVID-19

We've been taking proactive measures to ensure we can safely continue providing vital services in the community. Click below to read more about how we are responding to COVID-19.

If you would like to discuss any specific queries or concerns, or to offer your support, contact our dedicated helpdesk on:
01462 887181

Read our statement