Science and Serendipity

This blog was contributed by James Goodwin, Age UK’s Chief Scientist. 

Recently, I received the sad news of the death of a dear friend and colleague who through his example, leadership and support had helped to change the course of my career.  Dr Ken Collins, a notable researcher and physician of old age medicine was instrumental in evoking my interest in ageing, at a crucial time in my life.  Our meeting was as fortuitous as it was timely, a truly serendipitous moment.  Through it, he began my life-long dedication to ageing science but more so, he implanted the priceless notion that we must go beyond the simple necessity of high quality research – vital though that is – and seek to generate impact, to change society in its approach, in its thinking and in its behaviour, so that genuine benefits accrue to older people. Continue reading “Science and Serendipity”

APPG for Ageing and Older People – Why we’re launching an inquiry into human rights

This week the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People is launching a new inquiry into human rights. Between now and the spring we’ll be holding meetings to discuss our key topics, share best practice examples and collect evidence. This will inform a final report of recommendations on how we can further the protection of the rights of older people. Continue reading “APPG for Ageing and Older People – Why we’re launching an inquiry into human rights”

Guest blog: Enabling older people to flourish in the new age of data driven technologies

Photo credit: Elif Ayiter, Flickr creative Commons

This blog post was contributed by Barbara Limon, Interim Head of Public Policy at the British Academy

Barely a day goes by without a news story about the robots taking over or discussion around the influence firms like Facebook and Google now wield. We have reached a critical moment in the development of data science and data-enabled technologies. Continue reading “Guest blog: Enabling older people to flourish in the new age of data driven technologies”

Guest blog: Relaunch of older people and employment inquiry

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee

This guest blog was contributed by Maria Miller MP, Chair of Women and Equalities Committee. 

Older people make up a crucial part of the UK’s workforce- last year nearly 10 million workers were aged over 50- yet the very real challenges facing them in the workplace rarely make the headlines.

That’s why the House of Commons Women and Equalities committee which I chair is relaunching the older people and employment Inquiry which started just before the General Election. We’re keen to hear from individuals, groups and charities about the challenges that face older people when they’re at work and the obstacles to getting back into work. Continue reading “Guest blog: Relaunch of older people and employment inquiry”

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

An ambulance and cars stuck in floods

This blog was contributed by Olivia Small, Knowledge Management Officer at Age UK. 

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

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.

Continue reading “Let’s talk about death and dying”

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