The current pandemic has revealed some of the deepest inequalities that have often remained hidden in our society. Ageing Better in Camden’s members have been writing a weekly newsletter for one another throughout lockdown, as a way to keep informed in these challenging times.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Did you know that 1.3 million people are living and working in areas of the city at risk of tidal and river flooding? How about that around a third of London’s basement properties are at risk of flooding in a severe storm?”
Monday 12th November sees the start of Flood Awareness Week. The week involves a partnership of the Mayor of London, Environment Agency, Thames Water and London Resilience working together to improve awareness of flood risk and help Londoners get prepared ahead of the winter months. But how at risk is London from flooding? How can you prepare? Let’s investigate…
“Though the typical discussion of the rental market has concentrated upon the difficulties faced by younger renters, our research over the last two years has revealed that many of these issues are faced by the older generation too. In fact, these problems frequently have an especially large impact upon the wellbeing of older people – particularly in terms of health and social care, as greater emphasis is being placed on people managing conditions at home.”
Age UK London reacts to news of the government’s new rent commitment, which will see the implementation of a new three-year tenancies model.
“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.
Happy new year! It’s been a brilliant last twelve months here at Age UK London: we’ve completed our Older Private Sector Tenants Programme, launched our new Age Allies Project, and hosted a huge number of events as part of The Way Ahead, a new programme sponsored by the City Bridge Trust. There have been a huge number of individual achievements too though. With that in mind, we wanted to use our last blog of the year to let our staff members tell you about their favourite moments of 2017 and to outline their ambitions for the coming twelve months.
Whatever the reason for the event, they are always a great opportunity to meet and speak with people in similar age groups and situations. As much as we learn from the different speakers, there’s also so much to gain from talking to people your own age and hearing all about their different experiences.
It often results in a whole lot of laughter as we put the world to rights while we enjoy each others’ company!