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…

Age Allies

Age Allies Blog #8 – Age/ncy: Our Findings

In April of this year, Age UK London’s Age Allies project took part in “Age/ncy”, an intergenerational arts display organised by Flourishing Lives at Tate Modern. Of the course of the weekend, dozens of organisations from across London put on exhibitions, workshops, installations and performances that challenged stereotypical assumptions of older people.

We have now had time to reflect on the weekend as a whole and to assess all the information we received when running our workshops. Let’s take a look at some of the findings…

Ageing Better in Camden

Ageing Better in Camden

“One of the main reasons we have reached 7,000 older people and counting, is that we have had the opportunity to test and learn different approaches to our work and put the learning we have gathered into action.”

Ageing Better in Camden has come a long way in the last four years. Partnership Development Officer Corinna Gray tells us more.

Television and mental health

The Importance of Television for our Mental Health

“The UK has an ageing population. By 2030, one in five people in the UK (21.8%) will be aged 65 or over, 6.8% will be aged 75+ and 3.2% will be aged 85+. As many as 49% of older people (equivalent to over 5 million individuals) say their television or pets are their main form of company. Televison’s importance really can’t be exaggerated, especially for these people who, as they age, are increasingly likely to suffer loneliness, bereavement, illness and disability. TV doesn’t cure these struggles, but it can make them easier to live with.”

With the debate over the free TV licence for over-75s continuing to rage, we hear from Jolie Goodman about the importance of television for our mental health – especially as we age.

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!

TV Licence

Saving the Free TV Licence

“When mobility issues mean you struggle to get out and about, the TV helps you stay connected. When money is a constant worry, it’s a way to escape. And when you spend your days alone, it gives you something to rely on, something to look forward to. For over a million of the oldest people in our society, TV is their main form of company. It’s not just ‘the box in the corner’, it’s a window to the world, and a human voice when they’ve not spoken to another person in days.”

Following the news that the BBC plans to means test the TV licence for the over 75s, we explain why the free TV licence is such a valuable resource and why means testing isn’t as fair as you might think.

Age-friendly City

Making London an Age-friendly City

“Knowing where to start is a daunting prospect but thanks to last June’s announcement that the Mayor had signed London up to the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Community we have a strong platform to build on. Age UK London first called for London to sign up as an Age-friendly City ahead of the 2016 Mayoral Elections and whilst we now have a commitment from the Mayor it will be actions on the ground that decide whether we earn the right to call London an Age-friendly City.”

We’ve launched a brand new campaign to make London an Age-friendly City! Our new Campaigns Officer John McGeachy explains how we can achieve this.

Cultural

Cultural Connections with Age UK!

“The Age UK Index of Wellbeing in Later Life showed us that older people feel creative and cultural participation enables them to really love later life, but Arts Council England figures show that those aged 65+ are the least likely to actually experience great culture. For the last three years I have been exploring why and – more importantly – how to change this.”

Farrell Curran tells us how the new Age UK Inspiration Pack can help Age UKs to deliver even more cultural opportunities for the local residents.

Travel in London

The Importance of Everyday Travel

“Despite its disproportionate size and subsidies from central government, London’s transport infrastructure and built environment can often feel hostile for older people, especially those experiencing disability or chronic illness. Older people need better information on the options and help available to them, transport staff need better training on how to accommodate an assist older people, and the wider public must better understand and accommodate the needs of older people.”

An accessible and affordable transport network is a vital feature of an Age-friendly City. Philip Corran, a researcher at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, discusses the difficulties older Londoners face with everyday travel focusing on how they overcome the obstacles they face and the impact these challenges have on their health and wellbeing.