Hundreds of runners taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon run along the river bank

Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon!

It was a strangely sunny October day when our five fantastic fundraisers started the first of the thirteen miles that make up the 2017 Royal Parks Half Marathon. We were so proud of our runners, who put in all the effort to train and fundraise in the months leading up to the big day, before performing brilliantly across the entire 13.1 mile course – raising over £2000 to help London to love later life in the process!

Now it’s your turn.

There are still spaces available for the 2018 Royal Parks Half Marathon! Here’s all you need to know to run on behalf of Age UK London!

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.

A person casting their vote

You and Your Vote are Important!

“Maybe no-one has said this to you for a while but it’s true – if you are reading this then you are either over 60, or interested in the issues surrounding the over 60s and how to make things better in later life. That means that for Age UK London, you are very important!”

Our CEO Paul Goulden outlines a number of ways to make your voice heard in the coming months…

A trumpet player performs at the Songbook

Songbook – from the Royal Albert Hall

For people of any age, research has found that music can inspire particular emotions or senses, conjure vivid memories, and create an atmosphere of collaboration, euphoria and closeness.

In some cases, individuals suffering from age-related illness have recognised loved ones after listening to favourite songs. Research by the charity Music For My Mind has advocated for inclusion of music in the standard therapy for dementia. Many of an individual’s most robust memories will be their earliest, including the music of their teenage years and all its associated emotions.

Live music in particular is able to create this effect even more vividly – by bringing the performance and collaboration directly to the viewer, and creating an event where groups of people can enjoy similar sensations, together.

The Royal Albert Hall’s Songbook Programme brings live music to older Londoners. Find out how to get involved!

older male working

Flexible Work for Older Londoners

“A survey conducted by Ipsos Mori for the excellent Centre for Ageing Better found that the majority of us want three things in later life: Health, Financial Security and Social Connections. What magic wand can bring all three at the same time? Work of course!”

Is work the key to loving later life? Alexander Stevenson of Blume puts forward the case for flexible working for older Londoners.

Sadiq Khan London Plan

Assessing the London Plan

This week, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, released the draft edition of the London Plan, a strategic document that shapes how London will evolve and develop over the coming years. Once finalised, the London Plan will set a policy framework for local plans right across London, as well as forming the basis for all future planning decisions. The plan represents the Mayor’s vision for London over the next 25 years, with particular attention being paid to an estimated population of increase of 1.8 million, taking the capital to an approximate value of 10.5 million.

The document itself is five-hundred pages, so we won’t be able to discuss everything that is mentioned, but we’ve picked out some highlights for you!

red bag

The Red Bag Pathway – Improving Care Home Residents’ Visits to Hospital

“As a care home resident, it is highly likely there will be various visits and stays in hospital – in fact, a high proportion of all admissions and readmissions to hospitals are from residents in care homes. Care homes in South London have frequently expressed a need for better information sharing and communication between themselves and hospital teams during transfers of care into hospital. In many cases hospitals are unable to provide any information to care homes on residents’ care due to confidentiality and on discharge there is often a lack of information on changes to medication or care needs. Worse still, on many occasions, residents discover their belongings are often lost while in hospital.”

How can we smooth the transition from care home to hospital? Don Shenker of the Health Innovation Network South London investigates…

tv licence

Calling all over 75s in London – Claim your free TV Licence now!

Age UK London is working with TV Licensing to urge anyone aged 75 or over living in London to get in touch with TV Licensing to claim their free TV Licence. Currently, there are more than 180,000 people in London who are claiming an Over 75 TV Licence – but with nearly 460,000 Londoners aged 75 and over, lots of people are potentially paying for a Licence when they don’t need to. Here’s all the information you need to get your free TV licence sorted…

fruit and veg

Fruit and Veg – Too Much or Too Little?!

“How are you managing? Do you actually eat 5 portions of fruit and veg day? Well done if you do – I don’t think there are many of us who actually succeed apart from the odd occasion! 5 portions of dark chocolate a day I can manage, but fruit and veg?!”

Following the culmination of our Fit 4 Purpose programme, our online Opinion Exchange closed. This week on the blog we thought we’d highlight one of the articles posted there earlier this year, all about the proposed changes to our recommended daily allowance of fruit and veg. You can find this article and many more on our Opinion Exchange.

A Whole Host of Events!

It’s been a busy year so far here at Age UK London, but we’re showing no signs of stopping as we head into the winter months! With that in mind, we thought it’d be a good idea to run through some of the events we have coming up in the run up to the new year… Take a look and see how you could get involved!