A Great Place to Grow Old?

This week “Agenda for Later Life” – Age UK’s annual audit of how public policy is meeting the needs of our ageing population was published.

UK Topography space

What the report shows is that older people’s employment, digital inclusion, household spending and many other factors have improved over the last year; fewer people are living in non-decent housing and future pensioners are now more likely to be paying into a pension (even if many are not yet paying in enough). Details of the report and some neat Infografics that accompany it, as well as a comment by Jane Vass, Head of Public Policy at Age UK can be found at Age UK’s Blog page at:


Those of you who have known me for a while will know that this is what I consider to be our biggest national scandal. This week also saw the publication of the Winter Deaths figures for last year. So what do you think up or down from before (remembering it was a mild winter)?  Sadly up again. For more details about this see:


Think I have got a new blog to follow.

Living Independently with a Long Term Condition

This week saw the publication of the details of a report currently being conducted by Ipsos Mori for the NHS in England’s Improving Quality’s Long Term Conditions Improvement Programme.

Called “Navigating Health and Care: Living Independently with Long Term Conditions”, this evaluation heard the views of 36 patients, family members and carers in order to gain an insight into their experiences of living with and managing their long term conditions and the care they receive. As the report writers state, the findings chime with anecdotal evidence about the challenges faced by people managing multiple conditions, and the evaluation corroborates this in a powerful, real-world way from the patients’ perspectives. Not only will the report make for interesting reading when it is finally published but there are 5 videos associated with its release which are available to view at the following website.


One of the videos is called “Personalise my Care”. I thought some of you might like that one particularly. If any of the video resources strike a chord with you, or seem particularly useful can you post a review here so others can see it. I am sure it would be appreciated by all who view this Blog.

Mental Welfare Commission Campaign

This week it was quite easy to pick something out that has relevance to older people’s care in Scotland. Particularly since it was only released today!

The Mental Welfare Commission has launched a new campaign to explain the power of attorney to hospital ward staff, care home staff and GP’s across Scotland. More and more people are using this legal route to give powers to someone they trust – usually a relative or close friend – to make decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so themselves. Particularly those affected by dementia or a learning disability.

So to find out about the campaign go to http://www.mwcscot.org.uk/about-us/latest-news/commission-launches-new-campaign-across-scotland/

There you can access three new documents: A Power of Attorney guide for staff in hospitals and care homes. One for GP’s and a final one that deals with common concerns about these powers. These should prove very useful documents which you should share.

A bit of inspiration also. I was at this event last year and Holly, who was a final year student studying Philosophy and Theology at Edinburgh was better than a lot of the professionals. Enjoy!

Falls…. and End of Life at the Movies?

Its still “Fall” 😉 ; so  I should draw your attention to a new initiative being supported by the British Geriatric Society and 16 other European Organisation. Called “Stay Strong, Stay Steady” this campaign aims to increase life expectancy of older people in EU by 2 years by 2020 purely by improving falls management. The campaign is led by an organisation called the Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination (ProFouND). See http://profound.eu.com/

Also there is new resource been released on End of Life Care which I thought you should all know about created by RCN. See http://rcnendoflife.org.uk/

This resource has been designed for  a registered nurses, student nurses, health care assistant (HCA) or assistant practitioner working in any setting or specialism. The aim is to give an understanding of your role when it comes to meeting the needs of people with life limiting illnesses. Please use this with whoever you think may make use of it. Its an open resource and free to use.

Finally something to watch out for a film that looks at end of life care in a Scottish Hospice has gone on UK wide release. Its called “Seven Songs for a Long Life” and you can find out more about it and where is is being screened at http://www.sevensongsfilm.com/

(May come with a serious “hankies required” warning, and that’s just the trailer).