The Christmas quiz you did not expect


This blog post was contributed by Angela Kitching, Joint Head of External Affairs at Age UK. 

Christmas time, a time for families to reconnect, to eat together, to chat and to think about the challenges the New Year might bring. I don’t know about you, but in my family that means talking about about some of the conundrums faced by our family and friends. This year they included care arrangements and funding, loneliness, bereavement and ill health. I don’t want you to think we were miserable, we weren’t, there were great parties, lots of food and excited 5 year olds amazed by Father Christmas; but, at Christmas we did also check in with each other about the difficulties our family and friends face. We found the quizzes in the newspapers considerably easier to solve than these tricky family conundrums.

Continue reading “The Christmas quiz you did not expect”

A practical guide to health caring

Sheelagh Donovan works in the Information and Advice Department at Age UK, writing health information for our publications and website. Sheelagh talks about a new guide on caring that she recently worked on.

Caring can be a central part of many older people’s lives. For many who have partners and spouses, it can be an expected and valued part of ageing together, so much so that they may fail to see themselves as carers.

For others, it is a no less valuable part of a friendship. As many of us live longer, it is not unusual for people in their 50s and 60s to be caring for older parents while also supporting grandchildren or a disabled adult child. Continue reading “A practical guide to health caring”

Encouraging user involvement


In the Age UK Information Resources team we make sure that we involve our users when writing and updating information guides and factsheets.

User feedback allows us to hear from the people the resource is intended to help. It enables us to make sure our materials are relevant, accessible, logical and useful. User involvement is also a requirement of the NHS England Information Standard which we were proud to achieve in 2015. This is a quality mark which testifies to the accuracy and reliability of our information.

We have invested a lot of time and energy into developing our methods of gathering user feedback in recent years, and we currently have three main approaches that we use – focus groups, questionnaires, and our readers’ panel. Continue reading “Encouraging user involvement”

Spread the Warmth

Shockingly, 24,000 older people in England and Wales may not survive the cold weather this winter – that’s 200 deaths a day that could be prevented.

Continue reading “Spread the Warmth”

Who cares about Jenny and James?

Jenny is 64 and her husband James is 74. James has dementia and is cared for by Jenny, who has put a lot of effort into getting an appropriate care package put in place.

In this short video, Jenny explains the challenges she’s experienced in trying to arrange care for James.

Find out more about Age UK’s campaign for better care at

It’s Carers Week 2013!

After months of planning, Carers Week 2013 is here. It starts today (Monday 10 June) and takes place until Sunday 16 June.

Jenny And James - Age Uk Case Study by Sam MellishEvery day at least 6,000 people start caring. Becoming a carer can impact significantly on a person’s life – it takes time, energy, can leave you isolated and can be costly. Leslie is 84 and looks after his wife Frances, he spoke to us about the impact being a carer has had on his life and his advice for others.
Listen to his story.

Carers Week is run by a coalition of charities, including Age UK, Carers Trust, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK,  who all believe that informal carers should get more support and recognition for the incredibly difficult job that they do day in and day out. Continue reading “It’s Carers Week 2013!”

Debt and older people

Traditionally debt has been seen as mainly a concern for younger people with older people more likely to believe you should ‘cut your coat according to your cloth’ and save up for items rather than use credit. However there have been media reports suggesting this may be changing with headlines such as ‘Debt crisis for the over 60s’, and some information and advice services are reporting more older people seeking help with debts.

440x210_tracing_lost_moneyAt Age UK we wanted to find out more about the extent and level of debt in later life and whether this has changed over time. So we commissioned the independent think tank International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) to carry out a detailed analysis looking at debt among people in later life. Continue reading “Debt and older people”