Author Archives: Age UK

Implementing John’s Campaign – improving the quality of care and experiences of people with dementia in hospitals

Nicci Gerrard on holiday with her father, John, in Sweden last year.

Nicci Gerrard with her father John, the inspiration behind John’s Campaign

There’s no doubt that a familiar face, like that of a loved one and carer, can really put a person with dementia at ease during a hospital stay. The benefit to patient, family and staff is immeasurable; vital not only to settle the person, but to aid communication and prepare them for diagnostics or treatment, thereby helping professionals carry out their jobs. The carer may also be able to provide vital information and background, or support and stimulate a restless patient as opposed to leaving them confused and bed bound.

John’s Campaign, founded in 2014 by Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones, calls for an end to restrictive visiting hours in hospitals to enable more people with dementia to benefit from the support of a carer when they need it.

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Guest blog: What Keeps You Sharp?

This guest post was contributed by Dr Alan J. Gow, Associate Professor in Psychology,  School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University.

As we age, some of us will experience changes in our thinking skills. People often think of these changes in terms of decline, maybe noticing their memory getting a bit poorer or not being able to solve problems as quickly as when they were younger. While some people do experience these changes, others do not. In fact, some people retain their thinking skills well.

Researchers are therefore trying to better understand how our thinking skills change (or stay stable) as we age. In exploring the variation that exists from person to person, a really important question then arises: What factors affect the changes we might experience? Continue reading

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