Although coronavirus is currently dominating the headlines, the flu virus is currently a far bigger risk to the health of older people across London and the country as a whole. With spring on the horizon, it might seem odd that the team here at Age UK London are continuing to shout about the flu vaccine, but flu season can last as late as April, so it really is never too late to get your flu jab!
“I’m a walking enthusiast who loves getting outdoors and exploring the capital’s hidden gems, parks, woodlands, gardens, bridges, landmarks and sights! Since I started my blog in 2016 I’ve done over 30 walks of London, which have seen me stroll from North and South London to East and West London via Central London where I’ve not only discovered the touristy and well-known areas, but a variety of little treasures and places you don’t normally visit!”
For this week’s blog we hear from Stu, who tells us his ten favourite park walks – all discovered while writing the London Wlogger Blog. Why not try one out this weekend?
“In a similar vein, an active set of grand-parents who had childcare responsibilities three-times a week found that their only conversation with their stressed-out daughter was a speedily downloaded situation report as she collected her children at the end of the day. All of them believed they were seeing a lot of each other, but they were not having any valued time together. The answer? A regular date at the carvery for Sunday lunch once a month so all three generations could relax together and no-one had to cook.”
This week’s blog comes from Claire Gillman, a journalist and author of the book We Are The Sandwich Generation: Keeping Everyone Happy. Claire suggests some of the ways that “sandwich carers” can bring all the generations of their family together to spend some quality time.
“For most people, walking is the easiest way to meet physical activity recommendations, as it is a free and low impact activity which is easy to start slowly and build up gradually. It’s also one of the easiest activities to fit into your everyday life, not least because you don’t need to concentrate on the walking itself, leaving you free to enjoy your surroundings, chat to friends and family or just relax.For most people, walking is the easiest way to meet physical activity recommendations, as it is a free and low impact activity which is easy to start slowly and build up gradually. It’s also one of the easiest activities to fit into your everyday life, not least because you don’t need to concentrate on the walking itself, leaving you free to enjoy your surroundings, chat to friends and family or just relax.”
Find out how Age UK London’s new Park Walks campaign will be helping older Londoners to get out and about in London’s green spaces!
“With many people travelling to visit family and friends over the Christmas period, doctors were keen to warn that grandparents planning to visit grandchildren were particularly at risk. This is because children are often referred to as “super-spreaders” of flu and the over-65s are one of the “at-risk” groups that can develop health complications, such as pneumonia, if they catch it.”
Unfortunately there are plenty of myths about the flu vaccine floating about which can put people off getting their flu jab. That’s why our very own Sharon Tynan has put together a list of the top ten facts about the flu jab to make sure you’re fully informed before you head to your GP or pharmacist.
“Even though the flu jab is free for those over the age of 65, Greater London holds eighteen of the twenty Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas with the lowest flu vaccine uptake. In fact, the World Health Organisation’s target of vaccinating 75% of people aged 65 years and over continues to be woefully unmet by the majority of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), with only 15% (30 out of 195) of CCGs meeting that target in 2018-19. In addition, flu vaccine uptake amongst older Londoners was far lower than the national average of 72% in 2018/19.”
Our “It’s Never Too Late!” campaign, is a focused promotion of the flu vaccine across the capital. Find out all about the campaign here and get access to some free resources!
“London local government is proud of the role our adult social care services play in supporting Londoners. As London Councils’ recent report on the State of Adult Social Care in London makes clear, the sector has achieved significant successes in recent years – but there are also major concerns about future provision.”
Last week London Councils released the State of Adult Social Care in London report. Councillor Ray Puddifoot talks us through adult social care in London – both the achievements and the challenges…
“The UK has an ageing population. By 2030, one in five people in the UK (21.8%) will be aged 65 or over, 6.8% will be aged 75+ and 3.2% will be aged 85+. As many as 49% of older people (equivalent to over 5 million individuals) say their television or pets are their main form of company. Televison’s importance really can’t be exaggerated, especially for these people who, as they age, are increasingly likely to suffer loneliness, bereavement, illness and disability. TV doesn’t cure these struggles, but it can make them easier to live with.”
With the debate over the free TV licence for over-75s continuing to rage, we hear from Jolie Goodman about the importance of television for our mental health – especially as we age.
“The State of London Debate began with a brief speech from Sadiq Khan, outlining his tenure to date, and discussing his plans for the future. The Mayor emphasised his aim to make London a fairer city, whilst also acknowledging the difficulties the capital has faced in recent years – namely the recent rise in knife crime, the terror attacks of 2017, and the challenges posed by austerity and Brexit. The Mayor stated his desire to do more to improve the environment, to further tackle discrimination, and to do all he can to prevent a no-deal Brexit.”
Last night, Age UK London attended the State of London Debate – a yearly opportunity for organisations and members of the public to put questions to the Mayor of London. Find out what the Mayor had to say about a number of topics and read our questions to him!
“Knowing where to start is a daunting prospect but thanks to last June’s announcement that the Mayor had signed London up to the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Community we have a strong platform to build on. Age UK London first called for London to sign up as an Age-friendly City ahead of the 2016 Mayoral Elections and whilst we now have a commitment from the Mayor it will be actions on the ground that decide whether we earn the right to call London an Age-friendly City.”
We’ve launched a brand new campaign to make London an Age-friendly City! Our new Campaigns Officer John McGeachy explains how we can achieve this.