Resources for Older People's Organisations in London
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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 

People with arthritis feel isolated, scared about the future and don’t want to ask family, friends or doctors for help, according to new research commissioned by UK charity, Arthritis Action.

Arthritis – Overcoming the Challenges by Spotlight Market Research, surveyed more than 770 people with arthritis. Over half of those interviewed feel they need to take charge of their condition because the NHS is over-stretched.

A third of respondents said they feel doctors, the NHS and the government aren’t doing enough to help people with arthritis.

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

Skills for Care has published “Support to people with dementia and other conditions”, a case study based guide to support the social care workforce working with people with dementia and also other conditions. It is specifically aimed at leaders and managers in services supporting people with dementia. Skills for Care is the employer-led workforce development body for social care in England.

You can read the guide at http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Document-library/Skills/Dementia/Supporting-people-with-dementia-and-other-conditions-WEB.pdf

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/

 

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!