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.

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.

stay safe

Stay Safe for Older People!

“When older people are scammed or have an accident it knocks their confidence and they become vulnerable. They often stop going out, become isolated and frail and too frequently end up in hospital. Being aware of potential hazards getting prompt, expert, information when you need it, can prevent these incidents in the first place and help people move forward, saving the older person and all involved in their care from the utter devastation that can occur when things go wrong.”

On the 1st October 2018 Age UK, RoSPA, First Aid for Life and Fit for Safety launched the Stay Safe for Older People at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. Find out more about the initiative here:

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!

staying safe online

Tips for Staying Safe Online

Staying safe online sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Don’t go on any “dodgy” looking websites, and don’t download anything off the internet that you weren’t originally looking for. But with online scammers getting smarter and always trying new tactics, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it used to be to stay safe online. Thankfully there are some simple tips you can follow to ensure all your internet surfing is safe and fun.

Keeping cool in a heatwave

Keeping Cool in a Heatwave

“We’ve had some lovely weather this week, as a heatwave swept across the country! Down here in London it’s been especially warm, with temperatures reaching as high as 29°C – far higher than the typical average for this time of year, 22°C. According to the Evening Standard, some roads have become so hot that they have started to melt and stick to tyres! Meanwhile BBC news suggests that the warm weather is set to continue for at least another two weeks, if you can believe such a thing! Although, we still have a way to beat the record of the 1976 heatwave, which saw temperatures of 32C and over for 15 consecutive days.”

As the heatwave continues, it’s important to do all you can to stay healthy in the hot weather! Here’s why…