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.

Healthy streets

Building Healthy Streets in London

“So what does this look like in practice? There isn’t one template for what makes a healthy street but common approaches now being taken across London include reducing traffic speeds, installing pedestrian crossings, widening pavements and, increasingly, closing residential streets to motor traffic. On larger roads and at dangerous junctions it also means segregating cyclists from traffic with protected lanes and facilities.”

Will Norman, Walking & Cycling Commissioner at the Greater London Authority explains how the Healthy Streets initiative will help make London safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

ULEZ

ULEZ – A Quick Guide to the New Rules

“ULEZ is the Mayor’s reaction to London’s worsening air quality, which can have especially damaging effects on the most vulnerable citizens, including older Londoners. Around half of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) – these contribute to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – and particulate matter (PM) come from transport. Such pollutants can worsen chronic illnesses and shorten life expectancy as well as damaging lung development in children.”

With all eyes focused on March 29th (or should that now be April 12th?!) it’s perhaps easy to forget another important deadline on the horizon – the arrival of ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). Here’s a quick guide to the new regulations.

Age of Creativity Festival

The Age of Creativity Festival

“In three high profile speeches when he has been discussing the changing shape of the NHS going forward, Matt Hancock has been keen to support the emergence of ‘social prescribing’, and the growing engagement of the NHS with non-medical treatment which can be shown to improve wellbeing and address the corrosive advance of loneliness and isolation. Building on and developing the NHS collaboration with the creative and cultural sector is a great opportunity to take that forward.”

With social prescribing proving a useful tool to combat isolation and loneliness, the Age of Creativity Festival offers a great chance to engage with the cultural and creative sector – whilst making friends along the way! Age UK’s Mervyn Kohler tells us more…

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.

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:

age discrimination employment

Age Discrimination in Employment

“This week saw the Women and Equalities Committee publish a report on older people and employment. It did not make for pleasant reading. The report uncovered that more than a million people aged 50+ are seeing their talents overlooked due to discrimination, bias, and outdated employment practices.”

This week on the blog we’re looking into the findings of the Women and Equalities Committee and discussing some of the proposed solutions.

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…

Silver Sunday Cake

Top 10 tips for Hosting a Silver Sunday Event

“Last year more than 750 Silver Sunday events took place across the country, including tea parties, tai-chi, ballet workshops, ferry trips and many more. They were attended by thousands of older people across the country, offering them the opportunity to get out and make new friends, or try something new. This year Silver Sunday takes place on Sunday 7th October, and with your help, is set to be the biggest celebration of older people yet. Getting involved is simple – and with just four months to go, now is the perfect time to start planning your event.”

Silver Sunday is an annual day of fun and free activities for older people across the UK! Want to get involved? Here are 10 top tips for setting up an event!

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?