Author Archives: Age UK

Reflections on ageing

Baroness Greengross

Baroness Sally Greengross

Growing numbers of older people are making significant contributions to their families and communities – indeed to our country – and in the process they are dismantling ageist stereotypes about what it is to be ‘old’. No one epitomises this better than Baroness Sally Greengross, who has had a long and distinguished career supporting older people that she shows no sign of giving up, and who herself is joining the over-80s club this year.

Age UK is therefore delighted to announce that from 2016 we will host an annual Greengross Lecture in Sally’s honour. Our intention is that the Lecture will champion later life and the person or people who have made a really big difference – a fitting tribute we hope to all that Sally has done and continues to do.

We were delighted that Angela Rippon gave the inaugural Greengross lecture at our London offices last week. It was an excellent, entertaining and thought-provoking run through Angela’s experience and feelings about getting older. Here’s what she said: Continue reading

Guest blog: How shortages in care are failing older people

holding-hand

This guest blog was contributed by Gordon Cameron, Policy and Research Officer, at the Family and Childcare Trust

Our new Older People’s Care Survey has found that four in five councils report not having enough care in their area to meet demand. That means over 6.4 million older people live in these places with insufficient provision.

Older people’s care is important to all of us. Good quality care supports older people to enjoy old age with comfort and dignity. When it is not available or not affordable it causes entirely avoidable suffering, creates stress and worry for families, and often forces people into an impossible balancing act to look after a loved one alongside other responsibilities. Continue reading

Guest blog: Keeping warm in winter – physiology, behaviour or both?

Snowy scene

This guest blog was contributed by Christopher Eccleston is Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Bath, and the author of ‘Embodied: the psychology of physical sensation’

Winter’s approach reminds us that staying warm is a challenge.  In 2014-2015, in England and Wales alone, there were 36,300 preventable winter deaths due to cold exposure among people age 75 and over. We survive in a narrow core bodily temperature range of only a few degrees – human core temperature is around 37ᵒC, we dip into hypothermia at 35ᵒC and hyperthermia is not far above core temperature – and have to keep within the range when the world outside our bodies is more extreme. Even in England, temperatures have been as low as -26.1ᵒC and as high as 38.5ᵒC.

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Guest blog: Continuing to care?

This guest post was contributed by Morgan Vine, Chair of the Continuing Healthcare Alliance, and Policy and Campaigns Adviser at Parkinson’s UK. 

My Nan lived with Parkinson’s and developed dementia later in her life. Luckily, we found a wonderful residential home which gave her the high quality, compassionate care that she needed.  – also known as NHS continuing care or NHS CHC – was never mentioned to us, despite Nan having incredibly high needs. Looking back, I think it probably should have been. But part of me is grateful that, as a family, we didn’t have to struggle through this complex and confusing process.

Now, as a Policy and Campaigns adviser at Parkinson’s UK, I am all too familiar with NHS CHC and how it is letting people down across England.
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