Amidst all the terrible weather the recent 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods passed without much comment.
Yet on the night of 4 February 1953, a huge storm surge struck the east coast. In places the sea came 2 miles inland. 307 people were killed, including many families who died in their homes.
There was no warning and it was Britain’s worst peacetime disaster.
One of the most famous rescues was of a Miss Fowler, aged 84, of Canvey Island, Essex, with her 82 year old brother. You can see a photo of them here but they had to spend nearly 4 days without food, light or heat before help finally arrived.
Today, this is the situation we most fear at Age UK: frail older people marooned in flooded homes, accidentally overlooked and left to suffer alone. However, so far it seems that vulnerable older people have been identified and offered the emergency relief they need, and in a timely fashion. Thank goodness.
Two years ago today, on 30 September, the Age Action Alliance was launched. Just over 100 cross-sector organisations and older people joined together with a shared commitment to promote collaborative working and provide practical solutions to improve older people’s lives.
With the support of Age UK and the Department for Work and Pensions – providing joint secretariat to get the network going – and input from Alliance members and supporters, the network has now grown to an impressive 439 members! Continue reading
Posted in Communities and inclusion, General, Government
Tagged #AAApics, @AgeActAlliance, Age Action Alliance, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Communities & inclusion, Government, older people
This guest blog was contributed by Liz Baker, who is currently a student of the M.A. in Writing course at Warwick University.
When, over quarter of a century ago, I watched my toddler niece teach my mother how to use a microwave, it set me thinking about the pace of change in our world, a pace so fast that toddlers quickly became teachers.
For children, everything is new so nothing is daunting, but for many adults born before the 1980s, adapting to the internet was – and still is – a big and scary change. In a few decades we have moved from sending first hesitant emails to using the internet to run our lives, do our shopping, find our loves and even manage our finances. Continue reading
Posted in Digital inclusion, General, Work and Learning
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, ageing population, ageing society, broadband, computers, Digital inclusion, email, IT, older people, technology, The Wireless
Lord Filkin was bitingly critical in his response to the Government’s response to his committee’s report on ‘Ready for Ageing?’ The report had peered twenty years ahead, and found that the political establishment was ‘woefully underprepared’ for the enormous changes presented by an ageing society: the response, Lord Filkin declared, showed that the Government was ‘wilfully underprepared’ to address these issues. He damned its focus ‘on past achievements and the coming election’, when what he wanted was a frank assessment of the changes we will need to make in welfare policies, pensions, health and social care, public services and citizen behaviour over the next couple of decades.
We share Lord Filkin’s frustration. It is clear that the Government finds it difficult to think long term – which is perhaps understandable in a Coalition Government with a programme pivoted on 2015. Whilst they have ignored the suggestion to produce a White Paper setting out strategies to approach changing demographics the Government’s rather minimalist response to ask its chief scientist to review the impact of ageing on policies may produce some fruit. Continue reading
Posted in Economy, General, Government, Public Policy
Tagged #population, @ReadyforAgeing, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Big Conversation, Coalition Government, demographic change, Fiscal Sustainability Report t, Government, Government response to Ready for Ageing?, House of Lords committee, House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change, Lord Filkin, Mervyn Kohler, OBR, Office of Budgetary Responsibility, older people, public services, Ready for Ageing?