Although coronavirus is currently dominating the headlines, the flu virus is currently a far bigger risk to the health of older people across London and the country as a whole. With spring on the horizon, it might seem odd that the team here at Age UK London are continuing to shout about the flu vaccine, but flu season can last as late as April, so it really is never too late to get your flu jab!
“In a similar vein, an active set of grand-parents who had childcare responsibilities three-times a week found that their only conversation with their stressed-out daughter was a speedily downloaded situation report as she collected her children at the end of the day. All of them believed they were seeing a lot of each other, but they were not having any valued time together. The answer? A regular date at the carvery for Sunday lunch once a month so all three generations could relax together and no-one had to cook.”
This week’s blog comes from Claire Gillman, a journalist and author of the book We Are The Sandwich Generation: Keeping Everyone Happy. Claire suggests some of the ways that “sandwich carers” can bring all the generations of their family together to spend some quality time.
“For most people, walking is the easiest way to meet physical activity recommendations, as it is a free and low impact activity which is easy to start slowly and build up gradually. It’s also one of the easiest activities to fit into your everyday life, not least because you don’t need to concentrate on the walking itself, leaving you free to enjoy your surroundings, chat to friends and family or just relax.For most people, walking is the easiest way to meet physical activity recommendations, as it is a free and low impact activity which is easy to start slowly and build up gradually. It’s also one of the easiest activities to fit into your everyday life, not least because you don’t need to concentrate on the walking itself, leaving you free to enjoy your surroundings, chat to friends and family or just relax.”
Find out how Age UK London’s new Park Walks campaign will be helping older Londoners to get out and about in London’s green spaces!
“With many people travelling to visit family and friends over the Christmas period, doctors were keen to warn that grandparents planning to visit grandchildren were particularly at risk. This is because children are often referred to as “super-spreaders” of flu and the over-65s are one of the “at-risk” groups that can develop health complications, such as pneumonia, if they catch it.”
Unfortunately there are plenty of myths about the flu vaccine floating about which can put people off getting their flu jab. That’s why our very own Sharon Tynan has put together a list of the top ten facts about the flu jab to make sure you’re fully informed before you head to your GP or pharmacist.
“Even though the flu jab is free for those over the age of 65, Greater London holds eighteen of the twenty Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas with the lowest flu vaccine uptake. In fact, the World Health Organisation’s target of vaccinating 75% of people aged 65 years and over continues to be woefully unmet by the majority of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), with only 15% (30 out of 195) of CCGs meeting that target in 2018-19. In addition, flu vaccine uptake amongst older Londoners was far lower than the national average of 72% in 2018/19.”
Our “It’s Never Too Late!” campaign, is a focused promotion of the flu vaccine across the capital. Find out all about the campaign here and get access to some free resources!
“Although important for the community as a whole, the project also had a positive effect on individuals. Barkingside resident, Victoria, who is 72, took part in six of our led walks. When she started, she walked just one circuit of the park as she had recently had a knee replacement, but by the end of the project she walked six circuits of the park. This led her to walk more to the shops, library and to visit friends in the area. She says it’s helped her to keep active and means she gets to talk to people. She’s now become a local volunteer, so she can lead walks for all ages in her local community.”
Living Streets’ Tanya Braun explains how we can overcome barriers to walking for older adults and ensure that London’s outdoors spaces are Age-friendly!
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.
“London local government is proud of the role our adult social care services play in supporting Londoners. As London Councils’ recent report on the State of Adult Social Care in London makes clear, the sector has achieved significant successes in recent years – but there are also major concerns about future provision.”
Last week London Councils released the State of Adult Social Care in London report. Councillor Ray Puddifoot talks us through adult social care in London – both the achievements and the challenges…
To help keep you up-to-date with our campaigning work, we’re very excited to be announcing a new bi-monthly campaigns newsletter – “Action Age Friendly”. Here’s all you need to know about how to sign up!
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…