Frailty

Why does Frailty Matter to all of us? What can we do About it?

Frailty is not a disease itself. It is a constellation of symptoms and signs characterised by a loss of physical reserve. It can be a consequence of a combination of acute and or chronic ill health, poor mobility, weight loss and social isolation.

Frailty matters to us all. This blog will describe what frailty is, what the consequences are, and what can be done to manage it and reduce its impact.

My Living Will

Dying Matters Week – My Living Will

The second week of May is Dying Matters Awareness Week, which aims to place the importance of talking about dying, death, and bereavement firmly on the national agenda. With that in mind, we asked David Metz to tell us more about My Living Will, a new website that provides guidance and advice about the right to receive or refuse medical treatment in later life.

National Dignity Council

National Dignity Council – Dignity Action Day

Dignity Action Day on 1st February 2017 started a month of events to promote dignity in everyday life as part an initiative by the National Dignity Council, a registered charity whose primary aim is to promote dignity across the board. The Council works actively to promote dignity in work settings and to challenge poor practice wherever they see it, by using the support of over 81,000 registered champions.

Find out all about the month’s events, including how you can get involved.

technology future's bright

Technology – The Future’s Bright… but for Whom?

I went to a breakfast briefing by Windsor Leadership Trust on the future impact of technology. The key speaker was Dr Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor of The Economist and editor of a forth-coming book, “Megatech” looking at the world in 2050.

It was fascinating stuff, including his list of ten imagined companies who are going to be integral to our lives in the future – but what are the implications for older people?

Time to Talk – Older People and Mental Health

Yesterday marked the fourth national Time to Talk Day, a yearly initiative run by Time to Change which aims to break the silence surrounding mental health issues. In fact, since it first launched in 2014, Time to Talk Day has generated millions of conversations across the country, from homes, schools, and workplaces, to online networks and the media. Such conversations are important across all demographics, but as the Mental Health Foundation’s website states, “older people are more vulnerable to mental health problems.”

Attendance Allowance – A Vital Lifeline

Attendance Allowance is a weekly payment that allows disabled older people to meet some of the extra costs that they face. It is a lifeline for over a million older people, allowing many to go on living independently in their homes. Now the Government is proposing to devolve it to local Councils instead of distributing the money centrally as happens at the moment. It is part of a consultation on local government finance, following the decision to allow Councils to keep 100% of local business rates – link to consultation open till 26 September. This is worrying for more than […]

Andrews Salts or a Better Diet?

Care Minister Norman Lamb has announced that there is an urgent need to transform care in the home – highlighting the fact that, according to CQC, 25% of care is failing to meet basic standards. He’s right that this is an accident waiting to happen, but the solution is tricky. The economics of the problem are quite simple. Carers get the minimum wage or just above, and the margins for care agencies are very slim. Local authorities are under pressure from central government to cut costs and so will look to cheaper providers and also make requests such as half […]

Co-operation in Care

It is in the nature of people to care… and to know when not to care. Many of the most important and fulfilling parts of our lives – such as parenting, neighbourliness and favours – fit within the description of care, even if they are not typically understood as economic activity. When people are motivated by a need which inspires care, whether unpaid or paid, such as a care worker or nursing, there can be a richness in the motivation, because it is needs driven and sustaining of people and society. It is in the nature of institutions that care […]

Care Credits – Reinventing the Wheel?

Age UK London recently hosted a presentation from an organisation called care4care, and when I saw it I thought this is something I have to look at. Partly because of the need to tackle the problem of future care for older people, but I have to confess mainly because it is fronted by Professor Heinz Wolff – the archetypal professor from ‘The Great Egg Race’ in the late seventies. Along with Johnny Ball (how did he get voted off SCD?) and Johnny Morris, he inspired many of my generation to have an interest in science and the natural world. So […]