I suspect that, like many others aged over 50, COVID-19 has created its own unique challenges, especially around work. The latest statistics regarding unemployment and the over 50s are shocking with the Centre for Ageing Better and the Learning and Work Institute speculating “that one in 10 male, and eight in 10 female workers in their 50s and 60s face a significant risk of losing their jobs as the furlough scheme is wound down, as they are employed in “shutdown sectors” hardest hit by the lockdown.”
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!
“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.
“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!
“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.
“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.
“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.
This week on the blog, our Administration Volunteer Daphne discusses her Master’s degree in Clinical Neurology and the ways in which volunteering has helped to shape her research. This is an introductory blog ahead of a series of posts on neurology from Daphne.
“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.
“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.