Heatwaves – a hot topic

After such a wet winter, a bit of sun may sound like no bad thing, but people often underestimate the effect of high temperatures on older people: the 2003 heatwave led to an alarming 22 per cent increase in mortality among people 75+ in England and Wales. So I was very pleased to be invited to a roundtable held by the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, as part of their Inquiry into Heatwaves: Adapting to Climate Change.

Continue reading “Heatwaves – a hot topic”

Pension scams: not quite there yet

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From medieval conmen persuading people to hand over hard cash for worthless ‘holy relics’, to Charles Ponzi promising amazing returns on the back of earlier victims’ money,  fraudsters have always been with us and probably always will be. While this is all too true, we can make life a lot tougher for fraudsters – but we need to move rather faster than we have done to date. Continue reading “Pension scams: not quite there yet”

Brain ageing – understanding the implications for financial services

Dr Daniel Marson, Dr Debra Whitman and Steven Cooper at the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium 2016
Dr Daniel Marson, Dr Debra Whitman and Steven Cooper at the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium 2016

On 3 February Age UK hosted a symposium in London for the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing, on the impact of ageing and cognitive impairment on the financial services industry. Jane Vass, Head of Public Policy at Age UK reflects on the event.

In Japan, over 4 million people are living with dementia – the equivalent to the population of Ireland, while in the UK people aged 60+ make up a quarter of Barclays Bank’s active customers. These statistics, highlighted by Professor Nakatani of Keio University and Steven Cooper of Barclays Bank, explain why the Global Agenda Council on Ageing has launched a series of events to address the links between brain health and managing our money. Continue reading “Brain ageing – understanding the implications for financial services”

A great place to grow older?

Today, we launched our Agenda for Later Life 2015 report, Age UK’s annual assessment of how public policy is meeting the needs of older people. Here, Jane Vass, Head of Public Policy, discuss the findings of the report in light of the upcoming Spending Review. 

In the run up to what is likely to be one of the most challenging Spending Reviews of recent times, Agenda for Later Life, Age UK’s annual audit of how public policy is meeting the needs of our ageing population, highlights that older people are increasingly being thrown back on their own resources, as the public services on which they rely are being scaled back or withdrawn.

Each year, we track a number of key indicators, and this year shows progress in many areas but also the scale of the challenge facing us. Continue reading “A great place to grow older?”

Health, wealth + the pursuit of happiness = a sustainable retirement income

DorothyIn this blog post, Jane Vass, Head of Public Policy at Age UK, discusses the secret to a sustainable retirement income.

Continue reading “Health, wealth + the pursuit of happiness = a sustainable retirement income”

Meeting the challenges of an ageing population

Each year, Age UK stands back and takes an overview of how society is meeting the needs of people in later life and sets out our agenda for public policy in the year ahead. In our Agenda for Later Life 2013 report we track changes in a range of key areas including money matters, work and learning and health and social care.

A couple smile at each other in the garden.

Public attitudes, policies and the economy all impact on people’s experiences of ageing.  This year, as the economy bumps along the bottom, it would be all too easy to concentrate on the challenges we face. However, we strongly believe in the need to focus on the opportunities as well.

The publication of a White Paper setting out plans for a new single tier State Pension brings hope of better provision in future for those with low incomes and interrupted working lives. Continue reading “Meeting the challenges of an ageing population”

Ready for ageing?

Reablement photo by Philippe Leroyer

All too often, our ageing population is represented as an unmitigated disaster for the nation and the words ‘ticking timebomb’ appear with monotonous regularity.

A new report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change offers a refreshing change of perspective. It recognises that ‘longer lives represent progress, and the changes do not mean a great economic or general fiscal crisis’. But it also sets out a number of challenges facing us – and some thoughtful solutions for change.

The Committee, chaired by Lord Filkin, called the nation ‘woefully unprepared’ for the changes ahead and recommended a number of actions for all of us. The Government is challenged to set out its vision for public services in an ageing society in a White Paper.

In particular, the report rightly recognises the increased strain on health and social care and calls for greater integration and much more focus on prevention, early diagnosis and managing long-term conditions, with patients fully engaged in decision-making. Age UK agrees. Continue reading “Ready for ageing?”