Age Allies

Age Allies Blog #7 – Reflections

“The attitudes we hold to age and ageing are creating the world in which our future selves will live. We have the potential to make enormous positive changes for the benefit of everyone. As our population ages the consequences of inaction will have a profoundly negative effect on the health and social care system, our relationships, neighbourhoods and our economy. The inverse is also true. Being pro-active now will see a future that benefits all of us as we age.”

With funding for our Age Allies project set to finish in September, Programme Officer Richard Norman reflects on the project and society’s attitudes to age and ageing.

Age/ncy

Reflections of Age/ncy at Tate Modern

“Armed with a dedicated group of volunteers, our Age Allies stall offered the chance for members of the public to reflect on what they’d witnessed at Age/ncy and to explore their assumptions and understanding of the ageing process.”

Last month we headed to Tate Modern to take part in AGE/NCY: Art, Ageing and Transition, an intergenerational arts display. Find out how we got on!

Age Allies Chris and Vanda leading the exercises at LSBU.

Age Allies in Action at LSBU

Our Age Allies programme provides free age-awareness workshops to organisations and businesses across London, thanks to funding from the City Bridge Trust. The half-day workshops have been developed in collaboration with a group of older Londoners known as the Age Allies and are designed to help participants identify their own unconscious attitudes and assumptions about older people.

Last week, the Age Allies went on tour, heading down to London South Bank University (LSBU) to showcase some of the exercises that take place during the workshops. Our Age Ally Chris tells us more:

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:

Age/ncy: Age Allies at TATE Modern

In 1969, the psychiatrist Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term ‘ageism’ to denote the way society denies older people the opportunities to pursue life, to reinvent themselves.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the anti-ageism movement, Age UK London’s Age Allies programme will join Flourishing Lives in the creation of ‘Age/ncy’ – an intergenerational arts installation at TATE Modern that will shatter sedate stereotypes of ageing and older people.

The free event will run from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April at Tate Modern, in the Tate Exchange area on the Fifth floor of their new Blavatnik building.

Age of Creativity Festival

The Age of Creativity Festival

“In three high profile speeches when he has been discussing the changing shape of the NHS going forward, Matt Hancock has been keen to support the emergence of ‘social prescribing’, and the growing engagement of the NHS with non-medical treatment which can be shown to improve wellbeing and address the corrosive advance of loneliness and isolation. Building on and developing the NHS collaboration with the creative and cultural sector is a great opportunity to take that forward.”

With social prescribing proving a useful tool to combat isolation and loneliness, the Age of Creativity Festival offers a great chance to engage with the cultural and creative sector – whilst making friends along the way! Age UK’s Mervyn Kohler tells us more…

Blame of older people

Older people are always to blame aren’t they?

“…The second challenge is to call out those people who use criticising older people by blaming them, as ammunition in political arguments or just simply to get attention. I used the word “lazy” earlier on because it is true – it is so easy to categorise a group in society and blame them (and to be fair, young people get a rough deal thought this too), and social media tends to magnify these views in a way that has never been possible before. It is easy and lazy to do, but just perpetuates division rather than promoting the positive.”

It seems to be the eternal default position to automatically blame older people for the world’s ills. Our CEO Paul Goulden shows why it shouldn’t be this way.

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.

What would a world without ageism look like?

What Would a World Without Ageism Look Like?

“We are all ageing; it is a natural consequence of time. To be anti-ageing is to be anti-living. Reframing ageing and designing for all of us as we age, will provide us with neighbourhoods that are open, accepting and accessible to all, wherever we are on our life path.”

Following on from our recent “Evolution of Ageism” conference, Age Allies Project Coordinator Richard Norman muses on a world without ageism – what it would look like and how we can get there.