Age-friendly London

Tackling Loneliness in an Age-Friendly London

“We’re very excited to be joining the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. The Mayor’s vision is for London to be a place where people of all ages can thrive. Older Londoners make an extremely valuable contribution to city life – as professionals, volunteers and carers. We want to encourage all Londoners to participate actively in community activities and to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their age. We look forward to working with other age-friendly cities and communities in the UK and across the world.”

Last Friday at Age UK London’s Tackling Loneliness Among Older Londoners conference Deputy Mayor Matthew Ryder revealed that London has joined the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

Age Allies Blog #6 – Volunteers

“There is a commonly held belief that as people get older they become less competent. My experience of developing the Age Allies Workshops in collaboration with a group of volunteers, underlines how absurd this notion of older people actually is. The creativity, insight and commitment they bring to the table makes our development meetings productive and great fun. Authentic, open, honest and intelligent are the words that spring to mind. Oh yes, and highly competent!”

This week on the Age Allies Blog, Project Coordinator Richard Norman opens the floor to two of the Age Allies volunteers, who discuss their experiences of the project.

Private Rented Sector

Age and the Private Rented Sector

“The Home Improvements report is a timely intervention, which showcases the challenges that face “the Millennial Generation” in the present day and the years to come. It also dovetails nicely with our own report Living in Fear: Experiences of Older Private Renters in London, which performed a similar investigation into the difficulties facing older Londoners that rent privately.

If it is indeed true that a third of Millennials face renting for their entire lives, then our findings suggest that large scale changes need to be made in order to meet these tenants’ needs as they grow older. This is especially urgent, considering that The number of private-renting households for those aged 45-64 has more than doubled in the last ten years and recent estimates suggest that the number of private-renters in London aged 65 and over could double between 2014 and 2039.”

This week, a report from the Resolution Foundation has found that up to a third of young people face living in private rented accommodation for all of their lives. We offer our knowledge of the private rented sector, the affect it has upon many older tenants and the changes that need to be made to meet the needs of present and future older tenants.

Age skills charity sector

Age and Skills in the Charity Sector

“By and large however, candidates are saying that it’s being “older” that’s the problem. And generally that means over 40, with 41% of candidates over 40 saying they’ve been discriminated against on account of their age in the charity sector. We never expected age discrimination to be the candidates’ biggest complaint.”

This week on the our blog we hear from Jean Merrylees of charityjob.co.uk, who discusses their recent research into age and skills in the charity sector. With some surprising results…

Let Participants Lead Workshop Activities!

“Sometimes we are led to believe that projects such as a ten minute theatre performance by amateur actors with dementia is successful, but this may not be the case as an unusual and sophisticated art project doesn’t necessarily meet the needs of the participants. There is a hidden danger in progressive projects which are sometimes designed to attract participants and promote the work of the company or facilitator organising them, and not to serve the needs of the participants. It’s a blessing that so many artists and organisations are using art in healthcare settings but most of the time there are no assessments of the individuals’ needs or an evaluation of these projects. We keep proving success by showing pictures with older people laughing while they are holding a puppet or a brush. If the camera lens is focused on a happy older lady doing yoga, then out of frame is likely to be an older man with advanced dementia, who is asleep on an armchair. Does this make this activity successful?”

Activities in care homes can have a huge impact upon the lives of older people, but we must make sure the workshops cater to the needs of the participants, not the performers! Eirini Dermitzaki explores how we can make sure care home activities best serve older Londoners.

A view of London overlooking the Thames.

When will London join the Global Age Friendly Cities Network?

“When will the capital join the global Age Friendly Cities network? Manchester and Bristol are marching ahead and Southwark has taken the plunge – so what can be done to commit London to join the global Age Friendly Cities Network? New York is a member but when you search #agefriendlylondon you find yourself reading about London in Canada! London’s piecemeal approach is indicative of lack of leadership and collaboration on older people’s issues.”

How can we get London to be as age friendly as possible? Jane Scobie investigates…

A person casting their vote

You and Your Vote are Important!

“Maybe no-one has said this to you for a while but it’s true – if you are reading this then you are either over 60, or interested in the issues surrounding the over 60s and how to make things better in later life. That means that for Age UK London, you are very important!”

Our CEO Paul Goulden outlines a number of ways to make your voice heard in the coming months…

Age Allies Programme

Develop your Team with Free Age Awareness Training!

As humans we have a strong tendency to organise our social worlds by categorising and we all hold unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups. These biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences. If our society categorises “older people” as all those over a particular age, say fifty, then we are likely to see all those who arbitrarily fit that categorisation as having commonalities. Our assumptions about those commonalities are informed by our unconscious beliefs.

The Age Allies Programme is a unique opportunity to develop age awareness within your team. Age UK London are delivering these FREE half day workshops to businesses and organisations all across London.

older male working

Flexible Work for Older Londoners

“A survey conducted by Ipsos Mori for the excellent Centre for Ageing Better found that the majority of us want three things in later life: Health, Financial Security and Social Connections. What magic wand can bring all three at the same time? Work of course!”

Is work the key to loving later life? Alexander Stevenson of Blume puts forward the case for flexible working for older Londoners.

Party

Age Allies Project Launches!

“The audience were then posed the question “how old is old?”, which naturally drew a whole range of responses – especially once Richard mentioned a video in which the answer given was “40”! This kickstarted a discussion as to whether labelling someone as “old” makes them act in way that society thinks older people should behave. As a result, the Age Allies project aims to counteract the “old person” stereotype, by highlighting the individuality of this demographic and making clear that older Londoners are not a homogenous group. In doing so, it is hoped that organisations and businesses can alter the experiences of older customers and service users to stop them from feeling invisible, patronised, and frustrated and to instead make them feel valued, included, and appreciated.”

Monday October 23rd saw the launch of Age UK London’s new Age Allies programme at the Cockpit Arts Studios in Russell Square. Find out all the details here!