Red Bag scheme

Red Bag Scheme Extended

“Since its introduction in Sutton, the Red Bag, which has been used with care home residents 2,000 times in south London since April 2017, has also stopped patients losing personal items such as dentures, glasses and hearing aids worth £290,000 in a year. The potential for the innovation is significant with a predicted two million more people aged over 75 in ten years’ time. This populace is also spending more years in ill-health than ever before.”

Thousands of care home residents will benefit from safer emergency hospital visits as the innovative Red Bag scheme will be extended across the whole of south London. Find out how!

Mental and Physical Healthcare

Achieving Parity between Mental and Physical Healthcare

“The conference was an opportunity to increase understanding of a range of perspectives from across the social care workforce and to develop greater knowledge of patients’ experiences when accessing both mental and physical healthcare. Attendees were also advised on the delivery of consistent messages between members of the health and social care workforce on the subject of mental and physical health needs. There was also plenty of opportunity to network – especially over lunch!”

This week, we were delighted to co-host the MaP Project Conference with Allied Health Solutions here at Tavis House. Find out all about the event here!

dementia friendly london

Dementia Friendly London

“The Summit was a key moment in our campaign to make London the world’s first dementia-friendly capital city. The target is 500,000 Dementia Friends, 2,000 organisations involved and all London boroughs working towards becoming dementia-friendly by 2022.”

Dementia Action Week got off to a fantastic start when Alzheimer’s Society held the capital’s first Dementia Friendly London Summit. Find out all about it here!

Keeping cool in a heatwave

Keeping Cool in a Heatwave

“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…

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.

Technology – Reinventing the Social Care System

“Technology needs to be at the forefront of this new era of social care. Technology companies such as Babylon and Google DeepMind are already starting to make significant progress towards empowering patients to improve the care they receive. Babylon, for example, offers healthcare via a mixture of artificial intelligence and video and text conversations with doctors and specialists. However, up until now, social care has failed to take advantage of digital innovation and advances in health technology.”

Technology has transformed the way we shop, travel and live our everyday lives. Healthcare company Cera argues that technology needs to transform the social care system too.

Fall prevention

Falls Prevention – Some Practical Steps

This week on the blog, we’re looking into falls prevention. But first of all, here are some scary statistics: One third of people over the age of 65 fall every year Falls are leading cause of injury in older adults Over 400,000 older people attend Accident and Emergency Departments annually as a result of falls So why do we need to look at falls prevention? Clearly with the emphasis in the health service of reducing unplanned admissions, falls represent a huge area for improvement, and one that would have a massive impact on a stretched NHS. But the consequences of […]

Mental Health and the Arts

“Age UK’s recent Wellbeing Index went so far as to say that social and civic participation and creative and cultural participation are hugely important, together making up almost 1/8th of total wellbeing in later life. Furthermore, research by the Arts Council England in 2016 found that 76% of older people said arts and culture was important in making them feel happy, while over half of those surveyed said that arts and culture helped them to meet other people as well as encouraging them to get out and about. Meanwhile, the Mental Health Foundation discovered increased confidence and self-esteem amongst participants that were engaged in forms of participatory art.”

Research suggests that arts and culture are vital to older people’s mental health and wellbeing. We investigate the research and discuss some of the barriers to participation for older people.

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.

Let Participants Lead Workshop Activities!

“Sometimes we are led to believe that projects such as a ten minute theatre performance by amateur actors with dementia is successful, but this may not be the case as an unusual and sophisticated art project doesn’t necessarily meet the needs of the participants. There is a hidden danger in progressive projects which are sometimes designed to attract participants and promote the work of the company or facilitator organising them, and not to serve the needs of the participants. It’s a blessing that so many artists and organisations are using art in healthcare settings but most of the time there are no assessments of the individuals’ needs or an evaluation of these projects. We keep proving success by showing pictures with older people laughing while they are holding a puppet or a brush. If the camera lens is focused on a happy older lady doing yoga, then out of frame is likely to be an older man with advanced dementia, who is asleep on an armchair. Does this make this activity successful?”

Activities in care homes can have a huge impact upon the lives of older people, but we must make sure the workshops cater to the needs of the participants, not the performers! Eirini Dermitzaki explores how we can make sure care home activities best serve older Londoners.