Age UK London is a campaigning organisation actively striving to get the voices of older people heard. With that in mind, we thought we should interview some of the older Londoners we have worked with down the years. First up is Vidur, who tells us all about his life, offers some advice to the next generation, and reveals what he’d do to make London more age friendly.
“Part of the reasoning TfL presents is an acknowledgement that having more older people in London will lead to an increased need for the transport network to be accessible, and that it must be a priority to provide a good experience for public transport passengers. Quite a few of the policy proposals in the strategy mention that they are aimed to benefit older and disabled people. TfL also argues that major new developments like Crossrail 2 are needed to prevent existing transport services from being swamped by increased passenger numbers in future. Overall, the proposals give the impression that the future transport system will have to develop and improve radically, not just proceed through gradual tweaks.”
Transport has often been a top issue that older people have raised with Age UK London. Gordon Deuchars runs the rule over the Mayor’s new Transport Strategy.
“Pride is the spine of the LGBT+ year, the one point at which all sections of the community in all their varied sexualities and identities can come together to celebrate who they are, to protest or rally against what threatens us, and to remember our losses.
It has been the spine of my life, the one fixed point of the calendar, since 1972. This is true for many older people, who have marked the years by the marches or parades they have been on, the people they have met and celebrated with – the acts and speeches indelibly etched in their minds.”
Opening Doors London’s Peter Scott-Presland teaches us all about experiencing LGBT+ Pride as an older person.
“There are various causes attributed to the growing number of older people joining the renting masses; an increase in the divorce rate, downsizing to smaller properties where paying rent might be preferential to another mortgage, or never getting onto the property ladder in the first place – whatever the reason, we think all renters deserve to have accommodation that is of decent quality and relatively stress-free.”
One in every twelve private rental tenants is an older person. Marks Out Of Tenancy is a review website to help private renters make informed choices.
Grace and Robert are married to each other, as are Frankie and Sol. Robert and Sol are business partners, in a law firm in San Diego, while Grace and Frankie have never particularly gelled. They’re thrown together when Robert and Sol reveal they’re in love, have been having an affair for years, and are leaving their wives for each other.
The 39 episodes so far have looked at a whole range of issues. It’s also relevant as Pride month draws to a close to be looking at a show that is about older LGBT* people, and features a prominent LGBT* actress (Lily Tomlin).
Robert and Sol were scared of ‘going public’ with their relationship for many years. Now, some of that has to do with the fact they’re already married and didn’t want to hurt their wives more than they already had, but far too many older men and women felt forced into repressing their feelings for far too long.
As Pride Month closes, Danny Elliott runs the rule over Grace and Frankie for Age UK London’s monthly series on Ageism in Film.
“It feels like just yesterday I was sheepishly sitting in the doorway, waiting for my interview. Frightened for my life! I remember Sharon and everybody on the front desk welcoming me in. I smiled as I knew from then on I’d feel right at home… and now here I am 3 and half years later, ready to move on!”
We’re sad to announce that Carl Francis will be leaving Age UK London after three and a half wonderful years. Here’s a brief insight into his time with us:
Short-hold tenancies and a lack of regulation for rent price increases mean that unscrupulous proprietors may abruptly put up your rent price or serve you notice. Another concern for tenants is the unwillingness by some “landlords” to fix properties that have fallen into a state of disrepair.
Renters Legal is a social enterprise by Advice4Renters, a London charity with over thirty years experience helping disadvantaged and vulnerable tenants every day, as well as campaigning for better rights for renters. Renters Legal aims to help renters across England who are not entitled to legal aid.
Your Priorities is an annual research project that Age UK London conducts in order to increase understanding of the day-to-day issues affecting older people in the capital. By framing the research around eleven distinct issues and seeking the feedback of older Londoners themselves to evaluate their experiences in relation to these issues, Your Priorities really takes into account the cumulative voice of older people in London and contributes towards the knowledge base that Age UK London uses in informing campaigning and programme activities.
Here’s what you asked us to focus on in the coming year…
“As Brendan Cox said when launching the Great Get Together “Whether it is elections, referendums or social media sparring, we find plenty of opportunities to talk about things that we disagree with each other on, but far too few occasions to celebrate the things that bring us together.” This weekend let’s come together and celebrate what unites us.”
To support the amazing Jo Cox Foundation, our blog this week is on the theme of “What unites us?”. Hopefully, this will spur you on to join the Great Get Together:
This year World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Thursday 15th June. It is a day to raise awareness of elder abuse, to try and influence the legislative process, and to fundraise to help prevent abuse in all of its forms.
The United Nations Assembly predicts that the global population of people aged over 60 will more than double to 1.2 billion by 2026, and that by 2050 over 20% of the world’s population will be aged 60 plus. They also calculated that 4-to-6% of older people have received some form of mal-treatment at home which can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. Elder abuse is therefore a growing issue worldwide and one we need to act to stop now!
But how do we combat elder abuse? Robert Hacking investigates…