In 2012, the Office for National Statistics estimated that there are nearly 1.5 million people aged 85 and over in the UK. We are only at the beginning of an estimated escalation of numbers of people in this age group, projected to reach 5 million by 2050. What was formerly a small number of exceptional individuals is rapidly becoming a whole new generation for families in this country: the ‘Fourth Generation’.
Over recent years, through research, our contact with leading experts, and our engagement with older people, it has become apparent to Age UK that we all need to know more about these ‘oldest old’. Often what we hear are stereotypes held over from days gone by – that these oldest people are all frail and in care homes, their useful life over. We are concerned that all of us who make decisions concerning their welfare need help to get up to date with their nature and needs.
So we asked experts to write summaries of what is known in their area of research about the ‘oldest old’. We’ve collected these lay-person summaries into a short book, ‘Understanding the Oldest Old.’ Continue reading
Posted in General, Research
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, best practise, demographic change, fourth generation, Health & wellbeing, isolation, Later life, loneliness, older people, oldest old, over 85, over 85's, policy, practice, public attitudes, public policy, research, Understanding the Oldest Old, younger old
This blog was contributed by Jo Moriarty, a Research Fellow at King’s College London, in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit. She co-authored the evidence review Diversity in older people and access to services with Unit Director, Jill Manthorpe.
The Equality Act 2010 made existing anti-discrimination legislation simpler and removed inconsistencies. It covers nine so-called ‘protected characteristics’, aspects of our identity such as religion, race, gender, age, or sexuality, which cannot be used as reasons for treating us unfairly.
Some older people may avoid asking for help because they think they won’t receive equal treatment, in spite of sharing a particular protected characteristic, such as being gay.
Age UK asked us to investigate whether five key services – falls prevention, home from hospital schemes, handyperson schemes, befriending, and day opportunities – successfully offer support across all older people, regardless of any ‘protected characteristic’.
It seemed a straightforward task. Researchers today have access to masses of material. We can trawl through specialist databases containing thousands of research papers published each year. Many organisations such as Age UK publish their research reports online and for free. Continue reading
Posted in Equality and Human Rights, Research
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing society, Ageism, equality, Equality Act, equality and diversity, older people, protected characteristics, research