In the news:
Here we bring you a round up of interesting or informative news from other sources relevant to older people.
Grey Pride is a campaign by Anchor to persuade the British government to appoint a dedicated Minister for Older People. Click on the link below for more information.
Insurance For Older People
Older customers will find it easier to get motor and travel insurance under an agreement between the ABI, the Government and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA).
Under the agreement, which comes into force on 6 April, if an insurer or insurance broker is unable to offer cover to an older motorist or traveller due to the fact that their age is above any upper age limits they have, then they will automatically refer them to an alternative provider who can meet their needs or to a dedicated signposting service, such as BIBA’s ‘Find a Broker’ service or website.
All ABI members will adhere to the agreement as a condition of membership and all BIBA brokers will also undertake to comply with this agreement. Non ABI and BIBA members will follow the agreement on a voluntary basis.
The BIBA Find a Broker service is available on 0870 950 1790 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or go to the BIBA website.
Heroes Return 2 - Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund has grants available to help World War II veterans that saw active service and are resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland to take part in commemorative visits (within the UK and overseas) to mark the anniversary of events that led to the end of WWII. For more information click here or call 0845 0000 121.
Campaign to say no to Icy Slippery Pavements
The Living Streets organisation is running a campaign this winter to make sure Councils keep pavements safe this winter.
If you'd like to join the campaign or find out more about it, please visit the Living Streets website.
Older People asked to pay for free travel
Age UK have published an article about older people in East Yorkshire, being asked to pay for free bus travel. This is not happening in Gateshead but it highlights a problem that is happening in other areas. To read more click on the Age UK Website.
Gold Age Power List
The list celebrates individuals who are continuing to make significant social and cultural contributions to the UK over the age of 66. They defy stereotypes and the misconception that the UK’s ageing population is a looming disaster because it represents a “burden” and “drain on society”. The list was compiled by the WRVS, to see the list click here.
Over 65's 'Should Drink Less'
Recommended safe limits for drinking alcohol by older people should be drastically cut, according to a report.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says people over 65 should drink a maximum of only 1.5 units of alcohol a day.
That is the equivalent of just over about half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.
The report says older drinkers are less able to process alcohol and the drink might also interact with medication they may be taking for other ailments.
To read the whole article click here
posted 22/6/11, source BBC Website
Free NHS Health Check
Free NHS Health Checks for anyone in Gateshead aged between 40 and 74.
See leaflet for further details and eligibility.
Comic Relief have an article about our Red Nose Day community event on their website. Click here to see it.
Grant Helps Address Older Peoples Issues
Local charity, Gateshead Older People’s Assembly are ‘Branching Out’ with the help of Comic Relief Older Peoples Programme. The charity has been awarded a total of £98,800,which has enabled them to employ a Branch Assembly Volunteer Co-ordinator, who’s role will be to recruit, support and enable older people to actively engage in their local community.
“The funding that we have been awarded through Comic Relief Older Peoples Programme, will allow us to set up new, local area Branch Assemblies across Gateshead over the next 3 years.
Gateshead Older People’s Assembly was founded in 2002 by a small group of older people who came together as a Forum for Older People. Over the years, we have grown in numbers (our membership has now reached 2200) and strength. We now have representation on every board and partnership in Gateshead who have an interest in older people’s issues and the delivery of services to older people.
We hope by setting up local Branch Assemblies, we will be able to have more direct contact with the very people we represent. In order to ensure that we are still ‘The Voice’ of older people in Gateshead, it is a must that we have a means to engage with people at a local level, as they are best placed to identify their own needs and propose solutions to help meet those needs”
says Kerry Pattison, Branch Assembly Volunteer Co-ordinator. Within the first year of the project, the main area focus for the Branch Assemblies will be in the East and South of Gateshead, expanding to the Central Area, West and Inner West.
From April 2011, Age Concern Gateshead will be changing its name to Age UK Gateshead after signing a Partnership Agreement with national charity Age UK. Age UK is the country’s largest charity for older people following the merger last year of Age Concern England and Help the Aged.
250,000 Carers missing out on pension protection
A quarter of a million people caring for an ill or disabled friend or relative could be missing out on a top up that protects their basic and second State Pensions in later life, says Pensions Minister Steve Webb.
Click here to read more
Free Care Campaign Launched
The National Pensioners Convention has launched a new campaign entitled, Care Free, in response to the Government’s decision to stage a 6 month consultation exercise on the future of care and services provided to older people. This campaign will make a detailed submission to the Government, based on the views and concerns of older people around the country.
Boiler scrappage scheme begins
A scrappage scheme that will pay people £400 to replace old boilers with new ones has been announced in Chancellor Alistair Darling's pre-Budget report.
The boiler scrappage scheme will "help up to 125,000 homes replace the most inefficient boilers with new models", he said.
Freeze on part of the state pension increase is “underhand and shabby”
Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC), has described the Chancellor’s secret plan to freeze next year’s 2.5% increase to parts of the state pension package as “underhand and shabby”.
It has emerged that the government will not raise the Graduated Pension payments or the State Earnings Related Pension (SERPS) that form part of the state pension package for over 10m people. The freeze is expected to save £350m in 2010/11.
Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Pensioners will be absolutely stunned that only part of their state pension is going to rise next year. This is unprecedented and the fact that the Chancellor never made this clear in his pre-budget statement looks underhand and shabby. Over 2.5m older people already live in poverty and millions more are struggling to meet the rising costs of living. This decision will certainly push more into financial hardship. We need a state pension that takes older people out of poverty – not one that pushes them further into it. It’s simply unfair that the least able are being asked to shoulder the biggest burden of the recession.”
Around 5m older people who have modest savings of around £10,000 have lost between £10 and £20 a week (up to as much as £1000 a year) as a result of the drop in interest rates.
The latest excess winter death figures show that 37,313 older people died from cold related illnesses last year – a 50% increase on the previous figure and the highest level of deaths for nearly a decade.
One in three pensioners is estimated to be spending more than 10% of their income on energy bills, placing them in fuel poverty, and the winter fuel allowance now covers just a fifth of the average bill, compared to a third when it was first introduced.
Older people face annual inflation rates around ten times higher than the rest of the population, according to a recent report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Pensioners spend a larger proportion of their income on those items whose prices are rising fastest.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you are aged 60 or over you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help pay for keeping warm in winter. This can be between £125 and £400 depending on your situation. Find out if you are eligible for this payment and how to apply by visiting www.direct.gov.uk