Housing

Decent and Accessible Housing for London

The Decent and Accessible Homes for Older People report aimed to understand the detrimental impact of poor housing on older people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing. As a result of this inquiry, the APPG for Ageing and Older People have made 13 recommendations for change, including the impact of poor quality, inaccessible housing on health, issues in supported housing and the private rented sector, as well as the importance of home improvement agencies.

In this week’s blog we take a look through the findings of the “Decent and Accessible Homes for Older People” report and see how the recommendations provided can help London to become an Age-friendly City.

State of London Debate

State of London Debate 2019

“The State of London Debate began with a brief speech from Sadiq Khan, outlining his tenure to date, and discussing his plans for the future. The Mayor emphasised his aim to make London a fairer city, whilst also acknowledging the difficulties the capital has faced in recent years – namely the recent rise in knife crime, the terror attacks of 2017, and the challenges posed by austerity and Brexit. The Mayor stated his desire to do more to improve the environment, to further tackle discrimination, and to do all he can to prevent a no-deal Brexit.”

Last night, Age UK London attended the State of London Debate – a yearly opportunity for organisations and members of the public to put questions to the Mayor of London. Find out what the Mayor had to say about a number of topics and read our questions to him!

An older person in the cold weather surrounded by snow.

Staying Safe in the Cold Weather

“Exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on older people, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures. As people get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for health. Breathing in cold air lowers the body temperature, and raises the risk of chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.”

It’s imperative to take steps to protect your self from the cold weather, luckily there are a number of steps you can take to deal with the chill.

Flood Awareness Week provides all the information you need about flooding in London.

How Prepared are you for Flooding in London?

“Did you know that 1.3 million people are living and working in areas of the city at risk of tidal and river flooding? How about that around a third of London’s basement properties are at risk of flooding in a severe storm?”

Monday 12th November sees the start of Flood Awareness Week. The week involves a partnership of the Mayor of London, Environment Agency, Thames Water and London Resilience working together to improve awareness of flood risk and help Londoners get prepared ahead of the winter months. But how at risk is London from flooding? How can you prepare? Let’s 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.

Three-year tenancies

Discussing the Three-Year Tenancies Model

“Though the typical discussion of the rental market has concentrated upon the difficulties faced by younger renters, our research over the last two years has revealed that many of these issues are faced by the older generation too. In fact, these problems frequently have an especially large impact upon the wellbeing of older people – particularly in terms of health and social care, as greater emphasis is being placed on people managing conditions at home.”

Age UK London reacts to news of the government’s new rent commitment, which will see the implementation of a new three-year tenancies model.

private renters

Potential Progress for Private Renters

This week saw two positive developments for the rights of private renters across the country. First, on 2nd July, Secretary of State for Communities Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP proposed the introduction of a minimum 3-year tenancy term, with a 6-month break clause, to provide more security of tenure of private renters. In addition, yesterday saw the London Assembly agree a motion calling on the Mayor to back the campaign to abolish Section 21 – the clause of the Housing Act 1998, that allows private landlords to evict tenants without any reason – and to lobby the Government for a change in the law.

So, why are these changes important, what would they mean for older private renters, and do they go far enough? Let’s investigate…

Fall prevention

Falls Prevention – Some Practical Steps

This week on the blog, we’re looking into falls prevention. But first of all, here are some scary statistics: One third of people over the age of 65 fall every year Falls are leading cause of injury in older adults Over 400,000 older people attend Accident and Emergency Departments annually as a result of falls So why do we need to look at falls prevention? Clearly with the emphasis in the health service of reducing unplanned admissions, falls represent a huge area for improvement, and one that would have a massive impact on a stretched NHS. But the consequences of […]

What can Councils do for older Londoners?

What can Councils do for Older Londoners?

“Many of the things we are calling on Councils to do also help tackle loneliness, a problem for many older people (and not only older people). A preventive approach to health and social care could support services like befriending which tackle isolation. Better pavement and street repair and more accessible neighbourhoods will encourage people to come out and take part in their local community.”

With the local council elections taking place this week, Gordon Deuchars answers the question: What can Councils do to make their boroughs age friendly?

Private Rented Sector

Age and the Private Rented Sector

“The Home Improvements report is a timely intervention, which showcases the challenges that face “the Millennial Generation” in the present day and the years to come. It also dovetails nicely with our own report Living in Fear: Experiences of Older Private Renters in London, which performed a similar investigation into the difficulties facing older Londoners that rent privately.

If it is indeed true that a third of Millennials face renting for their entire lives, then our findings suggest that large scale changes need to be made in order to meet these tenants’ needs as they grow older. This is especially urgent, considering that The number of private-renting households for those aged 45-64 has more than doubled in the last ten years and recent estimates suggest that the number of private-renters in London aged 65 and over could double between 2014 and 2039.”

This week, a report from the Resolution Foundation has found that up to a third of young people face living in private rented accommodation for all of their lives. We offer our knowledge of the private rented sector, the affect it has upon many older tenants and the changes that need to be made to meet the needs of present and future older tenants.