An Age Friendly Strategy for Culture in London?

“Older people engage with culture for a similar range of reasons to younger people, and people’s motivations are not necessarily quantifiable. But there are also clearly identified personal and social benefits. There is a growing understanding of the psychological, cognitive and physical health benefits of active involvement in the arts for older people. Even simply being able to be an audience member may have a positive impact on someone’s social inclusion and psychological state.”

The Mayor is consulting on a draft London Cultural Strategy: Culture for all Londoners. How age friendly does it look so far? Here are some initial thoughts

What can Councils do for older Londoners?

What can Councils do for Older Londoners?

“Many of the things we are calling on Councils to do also help tackle loneliness, a problem for many older people (and not only older people). A preventive approach to health and social care could support services like befriending which tackle isolation. Better pavement and street repair and more accessible neighbourhoods will encourage people to come out and take part in their local community.”

With the local council elections taking place this week, Gordon Deuchars answers the question: What can Councils do to make their boroughs age friendly?

London Transport Strategy

New London Transport Strategy: 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.

Older Private Tenants

What Would Help Older Private Tenants?

We’re just over halfway through Age UK London’s project to raise awareness and find solutions for older private tenants in London. We’ve heard a lot from older people about the conditions they live in and their concerns for the future. This research has led us to ask a series of questions: What are the main areas of concern for older private tenants? What changes could be achievable and would help these older renters? What can be done in London, and what would need national legislation?

Winter is Coming – What’s London Doing?

Later this month we expect to see the publication of the latest “excess winter deaths” statistics, which will show how many older people (and others, but predominantly older people) died unnecessarily last winter. These facts should be a reminder to us that winter is coming and we need to support older people who have trouble heating their homes. As we do every winter, Age UKs in London will be working to help older people keep warm and stay healthy. What will other bodies be doing to make sure people in fuel poverty are able to do the same? Nationally, there […]

Attendance Allowance – A Vital Lifeline

Attendance Allowance is a weekly payment that allows disabled older people to meet some of the extra costs that they face. It is a lifeline for over a million older people, allowing many to go on living independently in their homes. Now the Government is proposing to devolve it to local Councils instead of distributing the money centrally as happens at the moment. It is part of a consultation on local government finance, following the decision to allow Councils to keep 100% of local business rates – link to consultation open till 26 September. This is worrying for more than […]

Age UK London’s Mayoral Election Priorities

We’re really glad to have had contributions from four leading London Mayoral candidates to our blog, and if you haven’t read them yet I ‘d suggest you do – they are all making thoughtful and constructive suggestions for how the next Mayor can support older Londoners.

At the same time as our 25 February Mayoral hustings we also launched our own Manifesto “Making London a Great Place to Grow Older” Based on consultation with older people, it gives our proposed priorities for the next Mayor.

Key asks include digital inclusion, making London’s housing age friendly and making transport in London accessible to all. We thought it was important to pick out and highlight a small number of areas where the Mayor can clearly make a difference, although we have also made recommendations in other areas because the Mayor has a wide-ranging role and an important voice in national debates.

Mayoral candidates respond to older people

We’ve launched ‘Making London a Great Place to Grow Older’, Age UK London’s manifesto for the 2016 Mayoral and Assembly elections and you can read it here. We’ve also just held a hustings event with Mayoral candidates Sian Berry (Green), Zac Goldsmith (Conservative), Sadiq Khan (Labour) and Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat). In the near future we hope to have contributions from Sian, Zac, Sadiq and Caroline on this blog.

Do Older People Think London is a Fair City?

We’ve just run an Open Space event with the London Fairness Commission to test whether older Londoners think London is a fair city and what should be done to make it fair, or fairer. The Commission is an initiative supported by several major London funders to find out what Londoners think about this and present the findings to 2016 Mayoral candidates. You can find out more on the London Fairness Commission website.