I suspect that, like many others aged over 50, COVID-19 has created its own unique challenges, especially around work. The latest statistics regarding unemployment and the over 50s are shocking with the Centre for Ageing Better and the Learning and Work Institute speculating “that one in 10 male, and eight in 10 female workers in their 50s and 60s face a significant risk of losing their jobs as the furlough scheme is wound down, as they are employed in “shutdown sectors” hardest hit by the lockdown.”
The current pandemic has revealed some of the deepest inequalities that have often remained hidden in our society. Ageing Better in Camden’s members have been writing a weekly newsletter for one another throughout lockdown, as a way to keep informed in these challenging times.
As the lockdown progressively eases, it is important to remember that vulnerable people are still requiring our support and will continue to do so when we adapt to ‘the new normal’. Su Elliott, Membership Secretary of Wandsworth Older Peoples’ Forum, has been regularly checking up on its members throughout this lockdown. You can find below her latest report.
Being less likely to know neighbours who can support you; not having a garden to exercise in, self-isolating in poor conditions and anxiety about when repairs can be made. These are just some of the challenges facing thousands of older private renters in London during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a retired consultant after 30 years at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust, I am fit and well and looking forward to my 77th birthday in May. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic two friends and I have been forced to postpone completion of our 118-mile walk from the Wye to the Thames.
The network of 23 local Age UKs in London will be a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of older Londoners over the next few weeks and months. We recently wrote about the launch of emergency activities implemented..
Like many others, coronavirus turned my world upside down. I’m a musculoskeletal Physiotherapist from London and I specialise in Sports Medicine. I have spent the past five years working in professional women’s football and national gymnastics..
In a world where the Covid-19 epidemic hadn’t happened I would have spent this Monday (30th March) with colleagues and around 200 older Londoners listening to the candidates for the next Mayor of London answer questions about how they would make the capital more Age-friendly.
“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?
“The London local elections are rapidly approaching, with polling day set for Thursday May 3rd. Four years on from the last London borough elections, all London borough councillor seats are set to be decided, alongside Mayoral contests in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets.
As London continues to grow in size, the number of older Londoners is increasing too – a 2016 estimate revealed that over a million Londoners were aged 65+ and 140,000 of that total were over the age of 85. A socially and economically diverse demographic, older Londoners contribute massively to every borough of the capital, as paid workers, volunteers, carers, family members, community activists, and in a whole host of other ways. As the number of older Londoners continues to increase, so too will these vital contributions to city life.
However, there are also a large number of older Londoners who are experiencing poverty and inequality, just like London’s other demographics. Whilst poverty amongst older people had been falling, there has sadly been a recent increase in the number of people who have dipped below the poverty line in later life. London’s housing crisis continues to affect people of all ages, with a serious lack of affordable housing in many areas. Loneliness too is an intergenerational concern, yet isolation is a particular concern for the older generation. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness has discovered that ‘more than 1 in 3 people aged 75 and over say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.'”
Age UKs across London are proud to present “Make London’s Boroughs Age Friendly!” a manifesto for the upcoming London borough Council elections.