Healthy streets

Building Healthy Streets in London

“So what does this look like in practice? There isn’t one template for what makes a healthy street but common approaches now being taken across London include reducing traffic speeds, installing pedestrian crossings, widening pavements and, increasingly, closing residential streets to motor traffic. On larger roads and at dangerous junctions it also means segregating cyclists from traffic with protected lanes and facilities.”

Will Norman, Walking & Cycling Commissioner at the Greater London Authority explains how the Healthy Streets initiative will help make London safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Ageing without children in hospital.

Ageing Without Children in Hospital

“The stories of those without family in hospital are rarely heard, rarely actively sought out. In almost all cases complaints about treatment are raised by family members, if you don’t have a family, there is no one to raise complaints. An older person, ill, isolated and worried in hospital with little or no external visitors is not likely to “make a fuss”. As far as we know there has been no research targeted at finding out about the experiences of people ageing without children in hospital.”

We accept without question that if an older person requires treatment, it is undeniably better for them and for the hospital, that they have their family with them. But what about those who are ageing without children? Kirsty Woodard explains all:

Action on hearing loss

London, how’s your Hearing?

“Informing yourself about hearing loss, and what help is out there, can be truly transformational. Unaddressed hearing loss can leave people feeling isolated, and affect their mental health. Speaking to people who understand what you’re going through, and can tell you what support is available makes all the difference. Many of those who have used our services have now gone on to take action and get the treatment they need.”

This week’s blog comes from Sinead Armitage, Regional Information Manager at Action on Hearing Loss, the largest charity for people with hearing loss in the UK. Sinead informs us about the UK Hear to Inform and Connect project, which has seen an increase in face-to-face information services across London.

Ageing Better at the Older People’s Advisory Group

“I am involved because you get to know about what other areas are doing, and it’s nice to meet people of our own age who are in the same boat. Some people are quite lonely, quite alone, and this is the only platform they have to get their voice heard. And that is the idea – that everyone has a say.”

Frances Eley, 91, talks about why the Older People’s Advisory Group in Camden is essential for older people in the borough to have their say on issues affecting them, to meet are share information, and to influence the Ageing Better work in the borough.

Loneliness at Christmas

Loneliness at Christmastime

“Who do you turn to when times get tough? Your partner, perhaps. Or your family and closest friends. The people you can rely on. The people who are always there for you. Imagine if you had no one to turn to. No one to ask when you just don’t know what to do next. No one to be there for you when you’re facing a crisis. No one to talk to when you’re feeling desperately lonely. Yet at Christmas the companionship and support of friends and family seems to mean even more than usual – which is why loneliness feels even harsher.”

New analysis from Age UK has found that 198,000 older people in London can go for a month without meeting up with a friend. This week on the blog we explore the loneliness epidemic sweeping our capital.

Keeping the free TV licence.

#SwitchedOff: why we’re campaigning to save free TV for older people

“It’s a common misconception that all older people are comfortably off these days. In fact nearly a fifth of over 75s are living in poverty. For them, paying a hefty extra bill would simply be impossible when they’re barely scraping by as it is. Added to this, half of over 75s are living with a disability. Many of them rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment. And for those who don’t have the internet – a considerable proportion of the oldest in our society – TV enables them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.”

For over a million of the oldest people in our country, television is their main form of compa-ny. Right now, that’s under threat. Together, we must take a stand. The BBC is considering removing the right to free TV
licences for the over 75s. If this is al-lowed to happen, it’s the most vulnerable people in our society who’ll suffer.

Age-friendly London

Tackling Loneliness in an Age-Friendly London

“We’re very excited to be joining the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. The Mayor’s vision is for London to be a place where people of all ages can thrive. Older Londoners make an extremely valuable contribution to city life – as professionals, volunteers and carers. We want to encourage all Londoners to participate actively in community activities and to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their age. We look forward to working with other age-friendly cities and communities in the UK and across the world.”

Last Friday at Age UK London’s Tackling Loneliness Among Older Londoners conference Deputy Mayor Matthew Ryder revealed that London has joined the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

resilience

Resilience and Self Care

Later life should be a time of enjoyment and growth, but with cuts in local authority spending on older people and continuing pressures on the NHS, the picture often painted is a bleak one. In recent years resilience and self-care have become buzzwords around older peoples services, but are they just code for “cuts”, or is there something more to this movement? If we know what ageing well might look like, what can we put in place in the way of resilience and self-care that can make that a reality?

Our CEO Paul Goulden investigates resilience and self-care – what we can do for older people in our community, and what barriers need to be overcome.

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?

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.