Climate and population change: a future we need to prepare for

An ambulance and cars stuck in floods

Hurricane Harvey created utter devastation, loss of life, and mass flooding in Texas. Many distressing images emerged of individuals fleeing their homes, and entire neighbourhoods under water. Perhaps most shocking was the image captured of care home residents trapped in water up to their waists.  Not long after, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and caused unprecedented destruction including the death of six people at a nursing home in Florida.  This should serve as a wakeup call to us in the UK, to ensure that the needs of our ageing population are fully reflected in our emergency planning. Continue reading

Let’s talk about death and dying

Let's Talk about Death and Dying! cover

This blog post was contributed by Lesley Carter, Joint Head of Health Influencing at Age UK. 

“How people die remains in the memory of those who live on”, Cicely Saunders (1918-2005), founder of the modern hospice movement. 

Positive advances in health care and public health mean that most of us will die later in life. Hooray! Yet most of us have never had a conversation with someone we love about death and dying and actually most of us don’t really want to. I think it’s a generational thing. But this is not the best place to be – this approach will not help us cope with our own death, or that of a loved one, or to manage our own feelings during death and bereavement.

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Mind the gap: making transport more accessible for older and disabled people

A rural bus

The Department for Transport (DfT) has just released its much anticipated Accessibility Action Plan (AAP), now open to public consultation. The Plan covers bus, trains, airports, taxis and driving, as well as scooters, cycling and walking, and is partly a response to a House of Lord select committee report on the Equality Act 2010. This found many types of transport fail to meet the basic needs of disabled people despite pre-existing regulations and guidance. Continue reading

What now for sheltered housing?

Photo: Ell Brown (Creative Commons)

The future funding of supported housing was one of the key issues affecting older people that was put on hold during the General Election. The Government proposes to cap housing benefit (Local Housing Allowance) for sheltered and other types of supported accommodation – which could potentially harm vulnerable older people with a loss of services and the eventual closure of some schemes. Continue reading