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.

An older person in the cold weather surrounded by snow.

Staying Safe in the Cold Weather

“Exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on older people, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures. As people get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for health. Breathing in cold air lowers the body temperature, and raises the risk of chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.”

It’s imperative to take steps to protect your self from the cold weather, luckily there are a number of steps you can take to deal with the chill.

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.

Imagining an Age Friendly London

“According to the World Health Organisation “An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. In practical terms, an age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.” The WHO looks at age friendliness within eight domains including outdoor spaces and buildings, which we concentrated on for this discussion.”

London is working towards becoming age friendly, and we organised a mini-conference to start finding out how older people would like that process to go. Have a look at what they suggested:

older londoners

Let’s Celebrate Older Londoners!

“Here at City Hall, we’re challenging ageist misconceptions. Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility, and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder QC, recently announced that London has signed up to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. He’s also linking in with an older people’s stakeholder network, to ensure the voices of older Londoners are heard within City Hall.”

London Assembly member Jeanette Arnold explains why we should celebrate older Londoners on the International Day of Older Persons on 1st October.

Fall prevention

Falls Prevention – Some Practical Steps

This week on the blog, we’re looking into falls prevention. But first of all, here are some scary statistics: One third of people over the age of 65 fall every year Falls are leading cause of injury in older adults Over 400,000 older people attend Accident and Emergency Departments annually as a result of falls So why do we need to look at falls prevention? Clearly with the emphasis in the health service of reducing unplanned admissions, falls represent a huge area for improvement, and one that would have a massive impact on a stretched NHS. But the consequences of […]

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?

An older man and two older women laughing over a cup of tea

Our Manifesto: Make London’s Boroughs Age Friendly!

“The London local elections are rapidly approaching, with polling day set for Thursday May 3rd. Four years on from the last London borough elections, all London borough councillor seats are set to be decided, alongside Mayoral contests in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets.

As London continues to grow in size, the number of older Londoners is increasing too – a 2016 estimate revealed that over a million Londoners were aged 65+ and 140,000 of that total were over the age of 85. A socially and economically diverse demographic, older Londoners contribute massively to every borough of the capital, as paid workers, volunteers, carers, family members, community activists, and in a whole host of other ways. As the number of older Londoners continues to increase, so too will these vital contributions to city life.

However, there are also a large number of older Londoners who are experiencing poverty and inequality, just like London’s other demographics. Whilst poverty amongst older people had been falling, there has sadly been a recent increase in the number of people who have dipped below the poverty line in later life. London’s housing crisis continues to affect people of all ages, with a serious lack of affordable housing in many areas. Loneliness too is an intergenerational concern, yet isolation is a particular concern for the older generation. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness has discovered that ‘more than 1 in 3 people aged 75 and over say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.'”

Age UKs across London are proud to present “Make London’s Boroughs Age Friendly!” a manifesto for the upcoming London borough Council elections.