Human rights are for us: ordinary people with ordinary lives

Julie-Binysh-Leila-Hoffman-Alfred-Hoffman-189x300Blog written by Emily McCarron, Policy Manager for Equality and Human Rights, Age UK

This week I attended the world premiere of Sunrise, not Sunset, a wonderful film directed by human rights advocate and campaigner, Debora Singer MBE. The film is about Edith and Sydney, who have been married for over 60 years and who now require varying levels of care. Sydney lives in Sunrise, because Edith is no longer able to provide Sydney with the care he requires but she is hoping to get a place in the same care home so that they can spend the rest of their days together. But when Edith is offered a place in another care home, Sunset, ten miles away from Sydney, she and her adult daughter Judith are heartbroken. However, hope comes in the form of Sydney’s wonderful carer who tells Judith about the Human Rights Act and how they can use the Act to uphold Sydney and Edith’s right to private and family life. The film is touching, personable, funny and uplifting.

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Longer tenancies would be good news for older private renters

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Blog written by Lisabel Miles, volunteer with Age UK London.

In July, the Government announced that it was going to look at how private landlords could be encouraged to offer longer tenancies. It has received over 8,000 responses to its consultation paper.

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Staying safe at home

An older man sitting by a window

Blog written by Joe Oldman, Housing and Transport Policy Manager, Age UK

We know that safe and accessible housing promotes health, wellbeing, and independence and prevents unnecessary injuries, accidents, and deaths. But for many older people, carers and professionals, finding information about different aspects of home safety and accident prevention can mean trawling through numerous websites to find what they need.

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Brexit and social care: are we underestimating the threat

BERNARDBlog written by Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

There is much speculation at present about the likely impact on social care of the Government’s forthcoming Budget, Local Government Funding Settlement, Spending Review and Green Paper – assuming the latter ever gets published that is. But amidst the discussion about all these things are we at risk of overlooking something else? Namely, the threat posed by ‘Brexit’ to the provision of care in this country? This question is particularly pertinent after the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) produced a report a couple of weeks ago, suggesting that low skilled workers from the EU should no longer have any preferential rights to come to this country post Brexit[i]. In an earlier report the MAC said that they considered care workers to fall into this low skilled category, placing a big question mark over their contribution to care provision in this country in future[ii]. It is worth adding at this point that Age UK believes the MAC got this badly wrong: care workers may be low paid but that is not at all the same as saying they are low skilled.

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Protecting older people’s precious right to liberty: the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

Gary Beckwith photographed for Age UK, 51 Bristow Road, Wallington, Surrey, CR0 4QQ

Blog written by Angela Kitching, Head of External Affairs, Age UK

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill is in Committee in the House of Lords – unless you are an avid Parliamentary watcher, I doubt you’ve noticed. But public controversy is starting to rise about this Bill, which is about the important and hugely sensitive issue of the legal protection available for older people and adults who lack mental capacity but who it is considered need to be contained in a given place for their own safety and/or that of others. Older people who are subject to this legislation generally have dementia, delirium or some other cognitive health problem. The way this protection is offered by application for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS). The debate about this Bill is taking place against a context of worries about the current system, which has broken down, leaving many older people with no protection at all.

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Low earners losing out in pensions

A woman reading her fuel bill

Blog written by Christopher Brooks, Senior Policy Manager, Age UK

Since 2012, employees have been automatically enrolled into their employer’s pension scheme, which has meant that nearly 10 million people are now saving for their later life than before. The individual, employer and government all make a contribution, and this co-funding arrangement will in most cases benefit the employee, who can still opt out of the scheme if they wish.

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The importance of eating well in later life

hero-fruit-and-veg-buyersBlog written by Alice Roe, Health Influencing Officer, Age UK

This week is the first UK Malnutrition Awareness Week, a joint project from the Malnutrition Task Force and BAPEN, to raise awareness of the importance of keeping to a healthy weight and eating well in later life.

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