Resources for Older People's Organisations in London
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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.

A new report by the Ready for Ageing Alliance, a group of major charities interested in our ageing society, seeks to bust the widely touted myth that there is a uniform group of older people in the UK – so called baby boomers – who have benefitted at the expense of younger age groups.

The report presents compelling evidence that baby boomers (in this report defined as between the ages of 55-70) are in fact a diverse group of people in virtually every aspect of their lives. Inequality affects them similarly to other people in our society leading to a wide range of outcomes in their lives. You can read the report here.

HelpAge International has just published the Global AgeWatch Index 2015. It looks at how countries across the world are responding to the increasing number of older people, and ranks them in a league table according to the economic and social wellbeing of older people. You can read the report here 

International Longevity Centre-UK has just published a new Factpack, #80atEighty

You can see it here

Across the world, the number of people aged 80 plus has increased from 15 million (1950) to 110 million (2011). By 2050 the number aged over 80 is estimated to reach 400 million.

This factpack incorporates new analysis by ILC-UK of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing by ILC-UK. 80 at Eighty reveals:

Many English 80 year olds remain very active…

  • In England over 16,000 people aged 80+ are still in paid employment.
  • People aged 80+ may be more satisfied with their sex lives, as 67.9% report the frequency to be about right, in contrast to 54.5% of those aged 50-64.
  • More than half (55%) of men aged 80+ are married (or in a civil partnership) vs. 21% of women.

But health problems are common…

  • Around 16% of those aged 80-84 have already survived a heart attack.
  • 49% of women and 38% of men aged 80+ are often troubled with physical pain.
  • 50.8% of men and 56.7% of women aged 80 and over report having a limiting long standing illness.
  • Over one in ten of those aged 80-84 have some kind of dementia

Positive Ageing in London, with the UK Age Friendly Cities NetworkGreater London Authority and Manchester City Council, jointly held this event which was well received and attended by older people, policy makers and local practitioners from all over the UK and Ireland. It aimed to spread best practice on how cities and local authorities respond to ageing and to help build the Age Friendly Cities Network.

Discussions approaches to making local areas age friendly, the built environment, culture and economic development.

All of the papers from the conference, programme, speaker biographies and other information can be found here.

The Commission’s final report has been published and can be found here. It has been described (not by its authors) as a “really good succinct and punchy report with great infographics and plenty of food for thought for the whole voluntary sector NOT JUST the ageing sector”

Decision time makes a range of suggestions aimed at the voluntary sector, funders and government, to help civil society negotiate the opportunities and pitfalls posed by the UK’s ageing population. These include:

  • Charities must adapt how they work with older volunteers and donors. Today’s retirees are more discerning and discriminating than ever before about giving time and money, and charities should maintain more interactive, reciprocal relationship with the people who support them.
  • The voluntary sector should market itself as the ‘sector of choice’ for people shifting jobs in the last year before they retire. Charities could lead retraining for teachers, care-workers and other under-staffed professions.
  • Government can support the efforts of charities by considering incentives to volunteer. This may include piloting tax breaks for volunteers or carer credits.
  • Funders should pilot more early intervention projects, to identify the most effective work and prevent future problems before they emerge.

Trustees will have a key role in helping charities adapt to the changes in demographics. On 20 April 2015, New Philanthropy Capital are running a seminar for charity  trustees to explore the findings of the report, and how trustees should take forward its recommendations. Further details can be found on the event website: http://www.thinknpc.org/events/preparing-for-the-future-changing-demographics/