Flood Awareness Week provides all the information you need about flooding in London.

How Prepared are you for Flooding in London?

“Did you know that 1.3 million people are living and working in areas of the city at risk of tidal and river flooding? How about that around a third of London’s basement properties are at risk of flooding in a severe storm?”

Monday 12th November sees the start of Flood Awareness Week. The week involves a partnership of the Mayor of London, Environment Agency, Thames Water and London Resilience working together to improve awareness of flood risk and help Londoners get prepared ahead of the winter months. But how at risk is London from flooding? How can you prepare? Let’s investigate…

Imagining an Age Friendly London

“According to the World Health Organisation “An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. In practical terms, an age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.” The WHO looks at age friendliness within eight domains including outdoor spaces and buildings, which we concentrated on for this discussion.”

London is working towards becoming age friendly, and we organised a mini-conference to start finding out how older people would like that process to go. Have a look at what they suggested:

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?

Private Rented Sector

Age and the Private Rented Sector

“The Home Improvements report is a timely intervention, which showcases the challenges that face “the Millennial Generation” in the present day and the years to come. It also dovetails nicely with our own report Living in Fear: Experiences of Older Private Renters in London, which performed a similar investigation into the difficulties facing older Londoners that rent privately.

If it is indeed true that a third of Millennials face renting for their entire lives, then our findings suggest that large scale changes need to be made in order to meet these tenants’ needs as they grow older. This is especially urgent, considering that The number of private-renting households for those aged 45-64 has more than doubled in the last ten years and recent estimates suggest that the number of private-renters in London aged 65 and over could double between 2014 and 2039.”

This week, a report from the Resolution Foundation has found that up to a third of young people face living in private rented accommodation for all of their lives. We offer our knowledge of the private rented sector, the affect it has upon many older tenants and the changes that need to be made to meet the needs of present and future older tenants.

An older man and two older women laughing over a cup of tea

Our Manifesto: Make London’s 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.

A person casting their vote

You and Your Vote are Important!

“Maybe no-one has said this to you for a while but it’s true – if you are reading this then you are either over 60, or interested in the issues surrounding the over 60s and how to make things better in later life. That means that for Age UK London, you are very important!”

Our CEO Paul Goulden outlines a number of ways to make your voice heard in the coming months…

air pollution

Air Pollution – How do we Fight it?

This is particularly concerning from our point of view, as older people are considered one of the most vulnerable groups for this type of pollution – especially those with heart or respiratory conditions. As it currently stands, the quality of London’s air is illegally poor, it is the most pressing threat to the future health of London. It is therefore unsurprising that the Draft Environment Strategy states that the Mayor wants to “dramatically reduce the number of Londoners whose lives are blighted by poor air quality.”

Air pollution poses a huge risk to older Londoners – but what can we do about it? We discuss our recent conference on the risks of air pollution and outline the Mayor’s proposals for change in the Draft Environment Strategy.

fruit and veg

Fruit and Veg – Too Much or Too Little?!

“How are you managing? Do you actually eat 5 portions of fruit and veg day? Well done if you do – I don’t think there are many of us who actually succeed apart from the odd occasion! 5 portions of dark chocolate a day I can manage, but fruit and veg?!”

Following the culmination of our Fit 4 Purpose programme, our online Opinion Exchange closed. This week on the blog we thought we’d highlight one of the articles posted there earlier this year, all about the proposed changes to our recommended daily allowance of fruit and veg. You can find this article and many more on our Opinion Exchange.

Fit 4 Purpose – Gone but not Forgotten!

March 2017 saw the end of our Fit 4 Purpose project after a four year period. Fit 4 Purpose was a capacity building project funded by London Councils which saw Age UK London work in partnership with Opening Doors London. The project reached over 500 organisations across London, working with them to make sure they could effectively serve older Londoners. All 32 boroughs, including the City of London, had several of their local older people’s organisations taking part in Fit 4 Purpose.

Over 100 workshops took place over the course of the four year period. These sessions were an opportunity to “skill-up” organisations that worked with Older Londoners as well as a chance to network across the capital, sharing intelligence and knowledge to build upon good practice.

Considering the success of the project, we thought it’d be good to give it a proper send off in this week’s blog!