Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


Keys to Care – Classic Sets

R&RA’s ground-breaking tool for care workers

Practical, authoritative and jargon-free, the Keys come as a set of 12: each giving simple yet expert guidance on its own topic. The key things to Think about, Ask and Do if you are to care well for a dependent older person, in residential care or at home.

An aide memoire, a checklist, a reminder of what matters and a reassurance that you’re doing the right thing.


Why were they made? The Keys to Care were made in response to the concerns of callers to our helpline and the demand for accessible training support for care workers in residential care and in home settings.

How were they made? R&RA produced the Keys to Care resources using specialist advice and the help of people who live and work in a range of care settings, with the support of Comic Relief and the endorsement of Skills for Care. The 12 topics the Keys open up are:

  • The Care Plan
  • Care at Night
  • Continence Care
  • Daily Life
  • Dementia
  • Eating & Drinking
  • Emergencies
  • End of Life Care
  • Family & Friends
  • Listening & Talking
  • Mouth & Teeth Care
  • Privacy & Choice

Available now to order or buy online

“A brilliant idea and so well executed.”  Sharon Allen, (then) CEO, Skills for Care

The Keys to Care are supplied as a set of 12 stylish and durable laminated cards mounted on a keyring, that slip easily into a pocket. The cost is £6.50 for each set plus post and packing, reduced for orders of 20 or more to £6.00 per set plus p&p. You can download an order form here and we will confirm the total cost with an invoice.

Or you can buy them at once online at the special rate of £6.25 per set (£5.25 to R&RA members) including p&p to any UK address – click on the button to order and pay by card. (Opens a secure link to PayPal who process the payments for us – but any main credit/debit cards can be used.)

How are they being used? Some frontline feedback

The Keys make an encouraging and confidence-building basis for any carer training programme: handy, attractive and very popular for carers to keep as a pocket reference or trigger to discussion.

“They are good for reminding people what they should be doing, particularly new or agency staff. It’s a good way to find out about the areas you don’t usually work in, such as End of Life Care.” Senior Care Assistant

“The keys to care are certainly very good indeed. I can see them being very useful…they’re something for carers, and most of all, for clients to have…so that they realise that these are the standards which the carers are trained to.”   Manager

“I incorporated them into a new supervision template…the content and the way they have been written is very applicable and engaging and sings to the tune of care staff.” Staff trainer

“I just wanted to say how delighted I am with the Keys to Care. Every member of my staff has been issued with a set and I have received very positive feedback from everyone. We also keep a set in the lounge so that residents and visitors can see if we measure up to what we hope to achieve.” Residential Home, Norfolk

To see Keys to Care in action, watch our video, made in a real care setting, which brings their usefulness vividly to life – our thanks to the Order of St John Care Trust and all who took part.

How do you use Keys to Care? We welcome your feedback on how helpful you find them and their related Keynotes, so please email us at

If you find our resources useful please consider making a donation or becoming an R&RA member to help us continue this vital work. Thank you!

We rely on the loyalty of our members and the support of our generous donors to continue our work.

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