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.

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.

Age Allies

Age Allies Blog #7 – Reflections

“The attitudes we hold to age and ageing are creating the world in which our future selves will live. We have the potential to make enormous positive changes for the benefit of everyone. As our population ages the consequences of inaction will have a profoundly negative effect on the health and social care system, our relationships, neighbourhoods and our economy. The inverse is also true. Being pro-active now will see a future that benefits all of us as we age.”

With funding for our Age Allies project set to finish in September, Programme Officer Richard Norman reflects on the project and society’s attitudes to age and ageing.

Age/ncy

Reflections of Age/ncy at Tate Modern

“Armed with a dedicated group of volunteers, our Age Allies stall offered the chance for members of the public to reflect on what they’d witnessed at Age/ncy and to explore their assumptions and understanding of the ageing process.”

Last month we headed to Tate Modern to take part in AGE/NCY: Art, Ageing and Transition, an intergenerational arts display. Find out how we got on!

Age Allies Chris and Vanda leading the exercises at LSBU.

Age Allies in Action at LSBU

Our Age Allies programme provides free age-awareness workshops to organisations and businesses across London, thanks to funding from the City Bridge Trust. The half-day workshops have been developed in collaboration with a group of older Londoners known as the Age Allies and are designed to help participants identify their own unconscious attitudes and assumptions about older people.

Last week, the Age Allies went on tour, heading down to London South Bank University (LSBU) to showcase some of the exercises that take place during the workshops. Our Age Ally Chris tells us more:

Age/ncy: Age Allies at TATE Modern

In 1969, the psychiatrist Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term ‘ageism’ to denote the way society denies older people the opportunities to pursue life, to reinvent themselves.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the anti-ageism movement, Age UK London’s Age Allies programme will join Flourishing Lives in the creation of ‘Age/ncy’ – an intergenerational arts installation at TATE Modern that will shatter sedate stereotypes of ageing and older people.

The free event will run from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April at Tate Modern, in the Tate Exchange area on the Fifth floor of their new Blavatnik building.

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…

Two older people using laptop computers. to access the internet

The Internet is for Everyone!

“Learning about the internet and how to use social media is also a great way to spend time with your family – albeit online. Ask your friends and family for their Instagram handles, then set up a profile and start taking photos. You’ll be joining the ranks of the 25% of Brits over 50 who claim apps make their family lives easier, from organising special occasions to communicating day-to-day.”

All the buzzwords and jargon can make the internet seem a strange and terrifying place to be. Never fear! Hannah Waters explains why the internet is for everyone and offers some top tips for staying safe online.

Blame of older people

Older people are always to blame aren’t they?

“…The second challenge is to call out those people who use criticising older people by blaming them, as ammunition in political arguments or just simply to get attention. I used the word “lazy” earlier on because it is true – it is so easy to categorise a group in society and blame them (and to be fair, young people get a rough deal thought this too), and social media tends to magnify these views in a way that has never been possible before. It is easy and lazy to do, but just perpetuates division rather than promoting the positive.”

It seems to be the eternal default position to automatically blame older people for the world’s ills. Our CEO Paul Goulden shows why it shouldn’t be this way.