Following on from Polly Toynbee’s article yesterday, our CEO Paul Goulden challenges the negative stereotyping of older people in the current debate.
“Prevention is key theme of the Plan, although it focuses specifically on 5 areas – smoking, obesity, alcohol, air pollution and anti-microbial resistance. But even this is a huge step forward in challenging the “treatment” model that the NHS is built on – dealing with what the patient presents as a problem. It also talks about individuals playing their part in achieving health outcomes, which is also welcome. The NHS needs to work “with” patients not “on” them.”
The NHS 10 Year Plan features some great leaps forward, but there’s something missing. Our CEO Paul Goulden explains why we should be pleased and what needs to change.
“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.
“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…
“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:
“We’ve had some lovely weather this week, as a heatwave swept across the country! Down here in London it’s been especially warm, with temperatures reaching as high as 29°C – far higher than the typical average for this time of year, 22°C. According to the Evening Standard, some roads have become so hot that they have started to melt and stick to tyres! Meanwhile BBC news suggests that the warm weather is set to continue for at least another two weeks, if you can believe such a thing! Although, we still have a way to beat the record of the 1976 heatwave, which saw temperatures of 32C and over for 15 consecutive days.”
As the heatwave continues, it’s important to do all you can to stay healthy in the hot weather! Here’s why…
“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.
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.
“Last year more than 750 Silver Sunday events took place across the country, including tea parties, tai-chi, ballet workshops, ferry trips and many more. They were attended by thousands of older people across the country, offering them the opportunity to get out and make new friends, or try something new. This year Silver Sunday takes place on Sunday 7th October, and with your help, is set to be the biggest celebration of older people yet. Getting involved is simple – and with just four months to go, now is the perfect time to start planning your event.”
Silver Sunday is an annual day of fun and free activities for older people across the UK! Want to get involved? Here are 10 top tips for setting up an event!
“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