Resources for Older People's Organisations in London
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An ageing society presents both opportunities and challenges to businesses. The past stereotypes of older people’s purchasing patterns are becoming outdated as our marketplaces become increasingly sophisticated and diverse. Social change, globalisation, de-regulation and technological advances have changed the commercial landscape. Many older consumers feel left out or at least, left behind. Old values such as loyalty and personal relationships appear no longer to have currency. Our high streets are changing and the fast moving on-line market place, whilst comfortable for the younger consumer, may not be as welcoming to older consumers.

South East Age UKs and SEEFA – the South East England Forum on Ageing – have joined forces to examine:

  • How older consumers are disadvantaged and what barriers they face.
  • Why, given the scale of demographic change, older consumers don’t appear to be a high priority for business.
  • What does an ‘age friendly’ future look like? What may need to change?

Culminating in a Symposium at the Palace of Westminster, this high profile debate is intended to make a real difference to the way older people are viewed as consumers. The project will bring together experts with experience of later life, policy makers, stakeholders in the business world and research. We will make suggestions to policy makers and influencers for encouraging ‘all age friendly’ multi generational business approaches.

We’ll be starting things off with a joint South East Age UKs and SEEFA Policy Panel event on 31st October 2016 to develop the key issues to put to policy makers.

For further information please contact: Julia Pride: juliapride@gmail.com 07771941290

Positive Ageing in London and Age UK London have published a joint report looking at how older
people are shaping London boroughs’ work on the local economy. You can read the full report on PAiL’s
website. We found that in many boroughs, older people are not addressed as a specific group in
strategies on employment, volunteering, education and skills but tend to be addressed mostly as
recipients of health and social care services. Specific difficulties older people face in, for example,
the job-market, are also not adequately addressed by targets for ‘working-age’ populations. We
found promising initiatives in some boroughs and would like to see these being extended and
becoming more widespread.

It would be very interesting to hear if readers have comments either on the report, or more
generally on how older people are included in work to develop the local economy in London. If
you do, please contact Gordon Deuchars at gdeuchars@ageuklondon.org.uk.

Age UK London invites you to a policy seminar to discuss initial research findings from our Older Private Tenants Programme funded by the Nationwide Foundation. The seminar is intended for statutory and voluntary sector staff and others with an interest in improving support for older private tenants.  It will take place on 31 October from 10.00 – 13.00 at Age UK London’s offices. You can find out more and register via the event website.

Brexit and Social Care Report

October 5th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Age UK London | Brexit - (0 Comments)

Independent Age has produced a report on “Brexit and the future of migrants in the social care
workforce” which reviews future workforce shortages in adult social care in England to take account
of the EU referendum result.

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of European migrants
in the social care workforce. In the first part of 2016 alone, over 80% of all migrant care workers
who moved to England to take on a social care role were from Europe. Any restrictions to the
migration of European citizens would likely reduce the overall number of workers in the social care
sector, making it even harder to recruit and retain the necessary numbers of staff.
You can read the full report or an Executive Summary here.

The full report points out that Greater London is particularly reliant on migrant care workers with
nearly 3 in 5 of its social care workforce (59%) born abroad. This figure includes migrants from
outside the European Union.

Age UK has published a policy briefing on the possible implications of Brexit for older people.
Looking at areas like equality and human rights, health and social care services, state pensions,
private pensions, financial services, older British citizens abroad and older EU citizens in the UK, it
identifies a range of questions that will have to be answered if Brexit is to work for older
people.

Lloyds Bank has published its UK Consumer Digital Index 2016 – the first of its kind. It explores consumers’ digital and financial capability and finds that for example, there are 13.1 million people in the UK (adults of all ages)  with low financial capability and 11.1 million with low digital capability, and 3.2 million people with low capability in both these areas. Digitally excluded people, the report suggests, could save £3.7 billion annually by improving their digital skills. Two thirds of digitally excluded people are aged 60+, and the report explores the reasons for this.

You can read the full report on the website.

I’m Still Me: a narrative for coordinated support for older people has just been published and sets out how coordinated – or integrated – care and support looks and feels to older people and is written from their point of view.

You can download and read the full report from this webpage.

The publication, developed by older people working with UCLPartners, National Voices, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, British Geriatrics Society and partners including Age UK London who contributed an initial literature review and arranged the participation of many of the interviewees, challenges health and care services to work together and improve the outcomes older people say are most important to them – things like independence, social interaction and relational support.

I’m Still Me outlines five themes that older people say are key to coordinated support: independence, community interactions, decision making, care and support and terminology.

It also sets out a series of ‘I statements’ that summarise what older people have said that they want their support to look like. These include:

“I can maintain social contact as much as I want”
“I am recognised for what I can do rather than assumptions being made
about what I cannot”
“I am supported to be independent”

I’m Still Me discusses implications for health and social care services and asks professionals, at all levels, to reflect on whether they are truly addressing the issues identified as being important to older people.

The publication also calls for a national debate on the use of the word ‘frail’. This word is often used to define groups of older people who could be vulnerable to a crisis, however it is emphatically rejected by older people themselves because they don’t see themselves in this way. The older people involved in the development of I’m Still Me did not want their lives to be defined by their health conditions and consistently disliked the terms ‘frail’ and ‘frailty’. Health and social care services have the challenge of identifying people at risk of ‘frailty’ to ensure that they get the right support, but this needs to be in a way that is acceptable to the very population they are trying to support.

It is hoped that this publication will generate such debate, and that this conversation continues to be led by the views of older people.

London Councils have just published a really useful directory of all borough Councillors in London and also senior council officers, council portfolio holders, leaders, Assembly members, MPs, MEPs and other key decision makers in the capital.

It is free to use online, there is a charge for a printed version. You can access it online  here.

Age UK London has published online a short, practical checklist aimed at helping local organisations make sure their activities are inclusive and accessible for diverse older people.  It looks at understanding the local population profile and adapting your offer according to local needs, ensuring an organisational culture of diversity and equality and communicating your activities to diverse groups. Each section includes suggested outcomes and steps towards reaching them, intended to be realistically achievable for small organisations.

You can download the checklist  here – scroll to the bottom of the page and the link will appear.

The Equalities Checklist also includes links to a series of in-depth specialist resources on working with older LGBT people,  older gypsies and travellers and older refugees, dementia, accessibility of buildings, equality and human rights in practice and  an evidence review on diversity in older people and access to services.

Please let me know of any other resources that should be added to this collection in future!

A new set of Age UK London downloadable E-bulletins are available here.  They include updates on older people’s housing, relevant health and social care changes, older people’s social contribution and ageing and equalities issues.