Although coronavirus is currently dominating the headlines, the flu virus is currently a far bigger risk to the health of older people across London and the country as a whole. With spring on the horizon, it might seem odd that the team here at Age UK London are continuing to shout about the flu vaccine, but flu season can last as late as April, so it really is never too late to get your flu jab!
“Terrence’s story is a heartwarming tale and it was so wonderful to see how happy the BBC Breakfast team made him on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, Terrence’s story is the exception that proves a very worrying rule – far too many older people will spend Christmas alone this year.”
You may have seen a heartwarming story on BBC Breakfast this week, in which 78 year-old Terrence described how volunteering at Age UK Oldham helped to reconnect him with his local community – having spent the last 20 Christmases alone. Sadly almost 85,000 older Londoners will be eating Christmas dinner alone this year. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways for you to help an older Londoner this Christmas! Read on to find out how!
“Although important for the community as a whole, the project also had a positive effect on individuals. Barkingside resident, Victoria, who is 72, took part in six of our led walks. When she started, she walked just one circuit of the park as she had recently had a knee replacement, but by the end of the project she walked six circuits of the park. This led her to walk more to the shops, library and to visit friends in the area. She says it’s helped her to keep active and means she gets to talk to people. She’s now become a local volunteer, so she can lead walks for all ages in her local community.”
Living Streets’ Tanya Braun explains how we can overcome barriers to walking for older adults and ensure that London’s outdoors spaces are Age-friendly!
“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.
Whether on the tube, the internet, or your television set, you should hopefully by now have seen the latest Christmas adverts from Age UK. Once again this holiday season, we at Age UK London want to remind the capital that “no one should have no one this Christmas”.