Brexit and social care: are we underestimating the threat

BERNARDBlog written by Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

There is much speculation at present about the likely impact on social care of the Government’s forthcoming Budget, Local Government Funding Settlement, Spending Review and Green Paper – assuming the latter ever gets published that is. But amidst the discussion about all these things are we at risk of overlooking something else? Namely, the threat posed by ‘Brexit’ to the provision of care in this country? This question is particularly pertinent after the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) produced a report a couple of weeks ago, suggesting that low skilled workers from the EU should no longer have any preferential rights to come to this country post Brexit[i]. In an earlier report the MAC said that they considered care workers to fall into this low skilled category, placing a big question mark over their contribution to care provision in this country in future[ii]. It is worth adding at this point that Age UK believes the MAC got this badly wrong: care workers may be low paid but that is not at all the same as saying they are low skilled.

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Protecting older people’s precious right to liberty: the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

Gary Beckwith photographed for Age UK, 51 Bristow Road, Wallington, Surrey, CR0 4QQ

Blog written by Angela Kitching, Head of External Affairs, Age UK

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill is in Committee in the House of Lords – unless you are an avid Parliamentary watcher, I doubt you’ve noticed. But public controversy is starting to rise about this Bill, which is about the important and hugely sensitive issue of the legal protection available for older people and adults who lack mental capacity but who it is considered need to be contained in a given place for their own safety and/or that of others. Older people who are subject to this legislation generally have dementia, delirium or some other cognitive health problem. The way this protection is offered by application for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS). The debate about this Bill is taking place against a context of worries about the current system, which has broken down, leaving many older people with no protection at all.

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Low earners losing out in pensions

A woman reading her fuel bill

Blog written by Christopher Brooks, Senior Policy Manager, Age UK

Since 2012, employees have been automatically enrolled into their employer’s pension scheme, which has meant that nearly 10 million people are now saving for their later life than before. The individual, employer and government all make a contribution, and this co-funding arrangement will in most cases benefit the employee, who can still opt out of the scheme if they wish.

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The importance of eating well in later life

hero-fruit-and-veg-buyersBlog written by Alice Roe, Health Influencing Officer, Age UK

This week is the first UK Malnutrition Awareness Week, a joint project from the Malnutrition Task Force and BAPEN, to raise awareness of the importance of keeping to a healthy weight and eating well in later life.

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Say no to ageism on International Day of Older Persons

An older woman reading her fuel billBlog written by Emily McCarron, Policy Manager for Equality and Human Rights, Age UK

Birthday cards that mock ageing; negative comments about ‘looking old’ we make about ourselves and others; stereotypical depictions of older people in popular culture and in the media. If we were to make similar comments about gender or race, this would be (rightly) seen as unacceptable and offensive. However, negativity about ageing and older people is pervasive in our society. This is ageism and what might seem like just a joke in a birthday card, can seriously undermine the human rights of older people.

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Grasping the nettle: lessons for the social care green paper

JLau-RasilaMehta-4057

Blog written by Mike Birtwistle, Founding Partner, Incisive Health

By 2068 there will be an extra 8.6 million people aged 65 or over living in the UK, with over-65s making up 26% of the population. With more of us living longer and many people having one or more long-term conditions, more people will need access to long-term care. How will a social care system that is in crisis, respond?

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What works in tackling loneliness in later life?

 

Promising approaches cover

This week we have a guest blog from Marianne Siddorn at the Campaign to End Loneliness.  Age UK and the Campaign to End Loneliness have launched a new report on how to tackle this important issue.

The devastating impact loneliness can have on our mental and physical health makes it an issue we simply cannot ignore. For a growing number of older people, loneliness defines and shatters their lives.

But loneliness is also a deeply personal experience – a problem with different causes and consequences for every one of us. This is what makes addressing loneliness so complex. And despite a wide and growing recognition of the substantial public health implications of loneliness and the urgent need to take action, there is a significant knowledge gap among funders and commissioners about what really works in addressing it.

Promising approaches to reducing loneliness and isolation in later life, a report produced jointly by Age UK and the Campaign to End Loneliness, seeks to fill that knowledge gap and to offer some practical answers to that big question, what works in tackling loneliness? Continue reading “What works in tackling loneliness in later life?”