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.

Loneliness at Christmas

Loneliness at Christmastime

“Who do you turn to when times get tough? Your partner, perhaps. Or your family and closest friends. The people you can rely on. The people who are always there for you. Imagine if you had no one to turn to. No one to ask when you just don’t know what to do next. No one to be there for you when you’re facing a crisis. No one to talk to when you’re feeling desperately lonely. Yet at Christmas the companionship and support of friends and family seems to mean even more than usual – which is why loneliness feels even harsher.”

New analysis from Age UK has found that 198,000 older people in London can go for a month without meeting up with a friend. This week on the blog we explore the loneliness epidemic sweeping our capital.

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.

adaptations

Aids and Adaptations for Accessible Homes

“Evidence shows that installing adaptations and improvements to homes can be of huge benefit to our health and wellbeing as we age. We often talk about the need to deliver home adaptations. Evidence shows that living in a suitable, accessible home is crucial to a good later life, and home adaptations can play a big part if done well. I think it’s important to get other people’s perspective, though, beyond formal research and reports. Making changes to our homes is something very personal to many people.”

Yehia Nasr of the Centre for Ageing Better went looking for some personal perspectives to better understand just how a simple home adaptation can help people in later life remain healthy, active and able to do the things they want to.

Imagining an Age Friendly London

“According to the World Health Organisation “An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. In practical terms, an age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.” The WHO looks at age friendliness within eight domains including outdoor spaces and buildings, which we concentrated on for this discussion.”

London is working towards becoming age friendly, and we organised a mini-conference to start finding out how older people would like that process to go. Have a look at what they suggested:

Red Bag scheme

Red Bag Scheme Extended

“Since its introduction in Sutton, the Red Bag, which has been used with care home residents 2,000 times in south London since April 2017, has also stopped patients losing personal items such as dentures, glasses and hearing aids worth £290,000 in a year. The potential for the innovation is significant with a predicted two million more people aged over 75 in ten years’ time. This populace is also spending more years in ill-health than ever before.”

Thousands of care home residents will benefit from safer emergency hospital visits as the innovative Red Bag scheme will be extended across the whole of south London. Find out how!

older londoners

Let’s Celebrate Older Londoners!

“Here at City Hall, we’re challenging ageist misconceptions. Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility, and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder QC, recently announced that London has signed up to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. He’s also linking in with an older people’s stakeholder network, to ensure the voices of older Londoners are heard within City Hall.”

London Assembly member Jeanette Arnold explains why we should celebrate older Londoners on the International Day of Older Persons on 1st October.

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!