A member of the Holobalance team explains the system to the focus group.

Holobalance – A New Way to Manage Balance Disorders

“Both of the focus groups took place at Age UK London over two dates, November 23rd and November 29th. Matthew Liston, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Human and Applied Physiological Sciences at Kings College London and Sharon Tynan of Age UK London demonstrated and explained the purpose of an array of wearable sensors and gadgets on the day including, insoles, heart rate monitor, augmented reality headsets and accelerometers. The older people in attendance had many questions about the kit and how long one would need to wear it as well as how it would work. The older people brought their wealth of knowledge to the focus groups and came up with good practical ideas about Holobalance and its future development.”

Age UK London is one of 13 partners across 7 European countries involved in the Holobalance project. Find out how we’re getting older Londoners’ views to the forefront of the development of Holobalance.

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.

Purple Tuesday

Purple Tuesday: Accessible Shopping for All!

“Nearly one in every five people in the UK has a disability or impairment, and over half of households have a connection to someone with a disability, so it goes without saying that businesses and organisations must be attuned to the needs of all their customers.”

This week saw the launch of Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first ever accessible shopping day! But what is Purple Tuesday and why is it so important? We investigate.

unthinking ageism workplace

How can Businesses Avoid the Trap of Unthinking Ageism?  

“Older people in these great numbers, still in good health, have not existed before. We are creating a fresh market, a new challenge, one that is not yet understood. How can it be? Having achieved this extended active later life, these bonus years, we have created a world that is new for all. Those of us already exploring that world have been happily surprised by how enjoyable a time it is. Certainly not the doom image painted by the media. But it is different – much that you took for granted no longer operates in the same way. Small new problems appear that you hadn’t realised would be there. And, you discover, it isn’t just you, many businesses and organisations have no map for this world, so they cant help either. Again, how could they have? Few travellers have as yet wandered this fresh landscape and reported back.”

This week’s blog is a guest post from blogger Grandma Joyce Williams, who writes a whole host of different articles on ageing and ageism, to reveal just how great later life can be. In this piece, Joyce puts forward several ways in which businesses can become more age friendly by avoiding the trap of unthinking ageism!

Age skills charity sector

Age and Skills in the Charity Sector

“By and large however, candidates are saying that it’s being “older” that’s the problem. And generally that means over 40, with 41% of candidates over 40 saying they’ve been discriminated against on account of their age in the charity sector. We never expected age discrimination to be the candidates’ biggest complaint.”

This week on the our blog we hear from Jean Merrylees of charityjob.co.uk, who discusses their recent research into age and skills in the charity sector. With some surprising results…

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…

London Transport Strategy

New London Transport Strategy: Age Friendly?

“Part of the reasoning TfL presents is an acknowledgement that having more older people in London will lead to an increased need for the transport network to be accessible, and that it must be a priority to provide a good experience for public transport passengers. Quite a few of the policy proposals in the strategy mention that they are aimed to benefit older and disabled people. TfL also argues that major new developments like Crossrail 2 are needed to prevent existing transport services from being swamped by increased passenger numbers in future. Overall, the proposals give the impression that the future transport system will have to develop and improve radically, not just proceed through gradual tweaks.”

Transport has often been a top issue that older people have raised with Age UK London. Gordon Deuchars runs the rule over the Mayor’s new Transport Strategy.

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.