Help an older Londoner this Christmas

Help an Older Londoner this Christmas!

“Terence’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, Terence’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!

older workers

Busting Myths About Older Workers #2

“In 2011 I took employment with a large financial organisation. It took being passed over for almost 20 roles, for which I was qualified and capable; before I realised that I was almost definitely being overlooked because of my age. This sapped my confidence and prompted me to resign and return to freelancing.”

In the second of our interviews with older workers we hear from Norma, who has had a varied career across a number of different roles and cities!

Flu vaccine

Spread the word, not the flu!

“Even though the flu jab is free for those over the age of 65, Greater London holds eighteen of the twenty Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas with the lowest flu vaccine uptake. In fact, the World Health Organisation’s target of vaccinating 75% of people aged 65 years and over continues to be woefully unmet by the majority of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), with only 15% (30 out of 195) of CCGs meeting that target in 2018-19. In addition, flu vaccine uptake amongst older Londoners was far lower than the national average of 72% in 2018/19.”

Our “It’s Never Too Late!” campaign, is a focused promotion of the flu vaccine across the capital. Find out all about the campaign here and get access to some free resources!

A warm welcome

A Warm Welcome from Ageing Better in Camden

“We’ve been gathering the views of older people in our borough on how to make community groups as welcoming as possible, and what difference this makes. Older people identified a range of factors including meeting and greeting, introductions, seating arrangements, opportunities for social interaction and relationship building, fostering a sense of community and various communication strategies.”

Ageing Better in Camden’s Lydia Shellien Walker tells us how a warm welcome is crucial to making community groups as friendly and inviting as possible.

Reducing Barriers to Walking in London

“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!

Older workers

Busting Myths About Older Workers

Despite popular stereotypes suggesting that older workers have less to contribute than their younger counterparts, the reality is that turning 50 often signals a phase of maturity and confidence where knowledge, expertise and life experience intersect in a powerful way. Society and business can only benefit from making the most of older workers and their knowledge and capabilities. Unfortunately this is not yet reflected in the workplace where employment rates fall gently once people are over the age of fifty and fairly dramatically beyond the age of sixty. Over the next few months, Blume’s Alexander Stevenson will be challenging the stereotype by profiling several older workers who are using their experience to great effect in the workplace.

In the first of these interviews with older workers, we meet Carolyn, a journalist and copywriter.

SilverSharers – Connecting Older Private Renters

“I believe the way I and so many others like me live, in this type of shared housing arrangement, is a blueprint for the future as the cost of living in cities as expensive as London escalates and more and more people find themselves renting for life.”

This week on the blog, Suzanne Noble explains how helping her partner to find a place to live saw her set up SilverSharers, a new company that connects older homeowners with compatible older renters seeking a spare room.

Farewell to the Age Allies Programme!

“Next up, “Age Ally” Chris took to the stage to give an impassioned speech on the ways in which the Age Allies project had shaped his understanding of age and ageing – even as an older Londoner himself! Chris explained how he had thoroughly enjoyed working with Richard and his fellow Age Allies to help “plant a seed” in the minds of the workshop attendees.”

This month we said farewell to our Age Allies programme, which has come to an end after three successful years. Find out how our goodbye event “Age Allies: Legacy” celebrated the work of the project and suggested ways in which the learning from the project could be carried forward into future campaigns across the age sector.

Pets Against Loneliness: Canines, Cake & Conversation!

One of the 8 main themes of a WHO Age-friendly City is “Social & Community Participation”. There are many activities and campaigns that fall under this heading, but they all have a common goal: ensuring that older citizens are able to actively participate in their society.

Lyn Ambrose, Founder of Pets Against Loneliness, tells us how canine companionship is helping to reduce social isolation in North London and how you can get involved.

Countdown to Silver Sunday!

“Silver Sunday exists to help tackle loneliness, but the day itself is all about celebrating older people and their vast contribution to society – so don’t forget to have fun, enjoy making new friends, and take lots of photos! Videos and photographs are wonderful memories to look back on, and we love sharing them on social media (use our hashtag #SilverSundayUK). This really encourages others to take part and make Silver Sunday even bigger next year!”

The countdown to Silver Sunday – the national day to celebrate older people & tackle loneliness – has begun and 2019 is set to be the biggest celebration yet! Lucinda Hurrey explains how you can get involved…