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 The past stereotypes of older people’s purchasing patterns are becoming outdated as our marketplaces become increasingly sophisticated and diverse.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

A new report “Generation Stuck”  from the International Longevity Centre – UK looks at the benefits of and obstacles to older people downsizing to a smaller home. It is partly intended to counteract some reports suggesting older people are harming younger generations by selfishly “hoarding” housing. The title “Generation Stuck” refers to many older popele being essentially stuck in their present home because of various obstacles to downsizing which the report discusses.

While previous research has explored the extent to which older people live in under-occupied properties, this report informs the debate on downsizing in later life by providing new survey research on older homeowners’ actual experiences and expectations in this respect. Amongst the key findings are:

  • One in three homeowners aged 55+ (32.6%) are considering or expect to consider downsizing. This figure rises to nearly one in two of all homeowners aged 55+ (48.2%) when factoring in those who have already downsized (15.6%). This is therefore an area worthy of greater policy focus, while the current policy debate is focused almost completely on first time buyers and starter homes.
  • Lower maintenance was the most important reason people downsized or would consider it (56.0%).
  • Close to a third (29.3%) of those who had downsized or are considering it did or expect to to release more than £100,000 in equity. Purchases from one specialist retirement housing provider, McCarthy & Stone, allowed its customers to release almost £60,000 on average from each move, with 19% releasing more than £100,000.2 Together, these figures show that releasing substantial equity can be a reality when downsizing.
  • The most prevalent way that people did or will use the equity released from downsizing is to put it into a savings account (35.2% overall) or, for those aged 55-59, to put it towards a pension (34.0%).
  • Specialist retirement housing could have a major impact on freeing up a larger housing market, with nearly 3.5 million older people interested in downsizing and buying a retirement property.

The report calls for a number of policy reforms to encourage downsizing and moving in later life, focused on the categories of adequacy, affordability and awareness, and contributes to the growing public debate on the state of the housing market in the UK.

You can download the full report from the ILC-UK 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.

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.

Age UK has published Agenda for later life 2014: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/professional-resources-home/policy/agenda-for-later-life/ 

This is the latest edition of Age UK’s comprehensive annual report on policies, practices and trends in ageing. It covers among other issues:

  • money matters
  • health and care
  • housing
  • having the opportunity to participate and be recognised as a valued member of society

Each chapter includes key global aspects of ageing as well as the national viewpoint

Age UK London’s Fit 4 Purpose project has published a toolkit intended to help small organisations boost their capacity for research and impact assessment.

You can view the Research Toolkit on the Age UK London website now.

For further information, you can also contact Ben Donovan, bdonovan@ageuklondon.org.uk

Age UK London’s Fit 4 Purpose project produces a series of E-bulletins on issues including equalities, housing, 50+ skills and contributions. The latest series are on the Age UK London website now.

 

 

My House or My Home

March 5th, 2014 | Posted by Danny Elliott in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

On 6 February Age UK London, Making Research Count and the Social Care Workforce Research Unit hosted their sixth joint annual conference on the theme of older people called ‘My House or My Home?’.

You can read a brief report on the event, as well as find links to other resources including an in depth blog post from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, on the Age UK London website.

The Department for Work and Pensions latest monthly bulletin, the DWP Later Life Newsletter, is now out. The newsletter includes the latest news on policy changes, good practice and initiatives and their impact on older people.

You can view the newsletter, and sign up to receive it monthly, here.

The Department for Work and Pensions latest monthly bulletin, the DWP Later Life Newsletter, is now out. The newsletter includes the latest news on policy changes, good practice and initiatives and their impact on older people.

You can view the newsletter, and sign up to receive it monthly, here.