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Care advice

The Elder Interview

Martin Hyde On Ageing and How the Idea of Retirement is Changing

Dr Martin Hyde is Associate Professor of Gerontology at the Centre for Innovative Ageing at Swansea University and Deputy Editor of the Ageing and Society Journal. His research on ageing and retirement seeks to explore the work life course, the ways in which people leave work, and the impact that has on their health and wellbeing after they’ve left. We talked to him about how the idea of retirement is changing, the impact of an ageing workforce and whether it is even healthy to retire at all.

The Elder Interview

Professor Mary Gilhooly, on the 'Young-old’ and Why a New Age Band is Necessary

Mary Gilhooly is Professor of Gerontology and Health Studies at Brunel University and conducted one of the first studies in the UK on family care of people with dementia. Her most recent research includes studies on financial elder abuse and posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of dementia. We talked to her about ageing in society and why the issues associated with it are such a rich area of study.

The Elder Interview

Dr George Leeson, Director of Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, on Why Age is Just a Number

Dr George Leeson is Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, a multi-disciplinary research facility within the University of Oxford. With a particular focus on demography – statistics that illustrate the changing structure of human populations – the Institute researches the implications of the world’s increasingly ageing populations. We talked to Dr Leeson about humanity’s achievements in longevity, why we need to redefine what old age is - and the challenges we must all rise to in order to create a sustainable society for the future.

The Elder Interview

Ashton Applewhite, Author of This Chair Rocks, Explores the Solution to Ageism

Ageism has been dubbed “the last acceptable prejudice” in society - and writer and activist Ashton Applewhite is out to firmly challenge that. Her straight-talking blog, TED talk and book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, discuss how ageism distorts our view of old age, and urge us to challenge age-based prejudices in ourselves and in society. We talked to her about the messages we absorb from society, the false divide between old and young – and why the solution to ageism needs all generations to get active.

The Elder Interview

Tony Duhig, Shedder from Men in Sheds, Discusses the Age UK Award-winning Workshop

Men in Sheds is an innovative project that supports older men who want to get together, socialise and learn new skills in carpentry, metalwork and furniture restoration - all in the welcoming space of a ‘Shed’. The Shed (a workshop) contains tools, and equipment and is run by a coordinator, with the ‘Shedders’ themselves deciding on the activities and projects they want to follow. Age UK Surrey’s successful Men in Sheds initiative has won a number of awards, including Outstanding Community Organisation at the Age UK Spirit of Age awards in 2017. We talk to regular Surrey Shedder Tony Duhig, about the benefits of woodwork, tea and chat at all stages of life.

The Elder Interview

Dhruv Sharma: Mitigating Later Life Loneliness Through Radical Innovation & Digital Technologies

Dhruv Sharma is a Senior Innovation Associate at Newcastle University's National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), an initiative that brings together academics and businesses to share knowledge relevant to developing innovative products and services for older adults. Dhruv is currently researching the role of radical innovation and digital technologies in mitigating later life loneliness and social isolation as part of his PhD at the HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training, Lancaster University. We talk to him about his two strands of work in the ageing space, and how they can contribute to solutions for important later life issues in society.

The Elder Interview

Charlotte Burrows, Design Council Social Innovation Programme Manager

The Transform Ageing programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, is a pioneering community and design-led programme delivered through a partnership led by the Design Council that aims to improve people’s experience of ageing. It brings together people in later life, social entrepreneurs and health and social care leaders to define, develop and deliver new solutions to the wants and needs of older people. We talked to Charlotte Burrows, Design Council Social Innovation Programme Manager about how this innovative approach could help create a more positive culture and perception of later life.

The Elder Interview

Tommy Dunne: Living With Dementia, Not Suffering From It

Campaigner Tommy Dunne was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 58 and now spends much of his time working with organisations such as SURF (Service Users Reference Forum), Liverpool Dementia National Alliance and YoungDementia UK to raise awareness of the issues around dementia. We talked to Tommy about the challenges of living with Alzheimer’s and how important is it for those with dementia to realise that they can still contribute to society and make a real difference.

The Elder Interview

Samantha Mauger, Chief Executive of the University of the Third Age

With just under 400,000 members, and increasing numbers each year, The University of the Third Age (U3A) is one of the largest learning movements in the UK. Retired and semi-retired members share their skills and life experiences under the umbrella of their local U3A ‘university’ - in interest groups that can range from Ancient History or Russian to dry stone walling. Learner-led, peer-to-peer education is at the heart of its structure - and the chance to shape your own exploration of a subject the heart of its ethos. We talk to the U3A’s Chief Executive, Samantha Mauger, about the organisation’s success and important role as an active community of learners.

The Elder Interview

Alix McDonald, Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning at University of Strathclyde

Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning brings education and interest to over 2000 older learners each year offering a variety of courses, from short and online to accredited and undergraduate access. Its programme aimed at 50+ students is run alongside a lively Later Life Students’ Association, offering social benefits as well as educational ones. Centre Head Alix McDonald, talks to us about the University’s commitment to positive ageing and how learning at any age can engage, inspire and stimulate health, well-being and interest in the world about us.

The Elder Interview

Laura Alcock-Ferguson, Executive Director of Campaign to End Loneliness

A network of national, regional and local organisations and people working together through community action, good practice, research and policy, the Campaign’s aim is to ensure that loneliness is acted upon at national and local levels and that all older people have meaningful connections in their lives. This Autumn it is launching a national movement to inspire more people to address the problem of loneliness. Executive Director Laura Alcock-Ferguson about the Campaign’s new direction, and why loneliness is everyone’s issue.

The Elder Interview

Michael Hornberger, Professor of Dementia Research at UEA and Cocreator of Sea Hero Quest game

The Sea Hero Quest smartphone game is a research project designed to gather data on people’s navigation strategies, or how they get from point-to-point. To-date, around three million people have played the free smartphone game and contributed vital information to the project. We talk to Professor Michael Hornberger, Professor of Dementia Research at UEA and one of the game’s cocreators, about the exciting potential of this ‘big data’ - the first of its kind in the field of dementia research, and the implications of the findings so far…

The Elder Interview

Pam Schweitzer, MBE, Reminiscence Expert & Coordinator of the European Reminiscence Network

One of the leading experts in the field of reminiscence for over 30 years, Pam Schweitzer MBE is passionate about the positive effects of this work on older people and those with dementia – focusing on triggering individual memories and the sharing of stories in reminiscence groups. We talk to her about breaking down the boundaries between history and memory, the increasing recognition of the importance of reminiscence work and the power of stories as the fabric of our lives – both personally and in the social record.

Learn

Dementia-Friendly Gardens: How Gardens Can Provide Wellbeing for Those With Dementia

The therapeutic power of nature is well-known, and gardens can be a place of sensory delight for those living with dementia. We look at the growing trend for dementia-friendly gardens in horticultural design, and how you can create a flower-filled sanctuary at home that the whole family can enjoy.

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Dementia Care: How Celebrities Are Putting Dementia In the Spotlight

With the Alzheimer’s Society launching its United Against Dementia celebrity campaign, we look at the impact that high-profile people living with dementia can have in challenging the stigma and improving public understanding of the condition.

The Elder Interview

Challenging Stereotypes Around Ageing: Alex Rotas, Photographer

Alex Rotas is challenging stereotypes of old age and helping to create a ‘new ageing narrative’. We talk to her about her work, the perception of growing old in our society and how we can open up our minds to what’s possible as we age…

The Elder Interview

Lisa James Talks to Elder About How National Carers’ Week Is Raising the Profile of Unpaid Carers

Live-in care is an excellent way to ensure dedicated one-on-one help, but throughout the UK there are six and a half million unpaid carers – sons, daughters, siblings, spouses – who also provide essential care and assistance to relatives that need support. Whether they are providing this assistance for a relative on their own or in conjunction with domiciliary care or a live-in carer, these carers often fall below the radar in terms of wider social recognition.

The Elder Interview

Dementia Care: Tracey Shorthouse, Living with Early Onset Dementia

Tracey Shorthouse was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at the age of 45. Now 47, she talks to us about how her life has changed and the challenges - and opportunities - to keep independent and engaged with life.

The Elder Interview

Dementia Care: How Penny Garner's SPECAL method promotes wellbeing

Penny Garner’s observations of her mother and the way she processed and linked information become the basis for the development of the SPECAL method – a person-centered method of managing dementia and promoting wellbeing. Today, she trains and raises awareness about the method through the Contented Dementia Trust and the Sunday Times bestselling book Contented Dementia. We talk to her about her unique work…

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Sandwich Caring – Looking after the Youngest and Oldest in Your Family

With a population living longer than ever before and more people starting their families later in life, there is a growing and often silent group of people who are becoming what is known as ‘Sandwich Carers’.

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The Truth about Unpaid Caring at 65+

When most people think of retirement, they never expect to become an unpaid carer, but with over one million unpaid carers aged 65+ in the UK, more and more people are facing their later years taking on the most challenging role of all.

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Live-in Care: Making Life Safer for the Elderly

With 3 in 5 people living with dementia getting lost while walking every year we explore the issue of safer walking technology and look at the latest devices designed to give independence to them and peace of mind to you.

The Elder Interview

Raising Awareness About Alzheimer’s Care: An Interview With Vivienne Francis

The Alzheimer’s Society’s annual Dementia Awareness Week is a crucial chance to highlight the issue in society, help dispel myths and focus on the ways in which those with the disease can live well for longer. We talk to Vivienne Francis from the Alzheimer’s Society about this year’s event, its campaign for improved care provision and why the society is calling on the next Government to find a social care solution that works for those with dementia.

The Elder Interview

Living with Early Onset Dementia: An Interview with Peter Berry

Peter Berry lives with early onset dementia, a form that appears before the age of 65. A passionate advocate for living well with dementia, Peter works with Young Dementia UK to raise awareness of the condition.

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The Emotional Impact of Dementia

Dementia is unique in its ability to affect us emotionally, but by understanding our emotional responses and finding ways to alleviate them, we can prevent this emotional impact becoming unmanageable.

The Elder Interview

Exploring Creativity in Dementia Care: An Interview with Author John Killick

Poet and author John Killick has written seven books on dementia, including Dementia Positive, Communication and the Care of People with Dementia and Playfulness and Dementia.

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How Live-in Care Can Help You Sleep Better

Problems sleeping are common among those with dementia – and inevitably those around them too, whether family members or live-in carers. Help everyone feel better with these simple strategies for a good night’s sleep.

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Close Harmony: The Power of Music in Dementia

Research has shown that music and singing are incredibly beneficial to those with dementia, offering a way for them to move beyond the disease and an important channel of communication when others are challenged.

The Elder Interview

The Elder Interview: Simon Thorp, Dementia Adventure

Remember the Great Outdoors? How one innovative charity is removing the barrier to adventures in nature for those living with dementia.

The Elder Interview

The Elder Interview: Professor David Roberts, Professor of Telepresence, University of Salford

With Virtual Reality moving into the mainstream, what is the potential for its use in the dementia space? We talk to leading researcher Professor David Roberts about the new realities of this technology.

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Finding Meaning in Memory: The Power of Reminiscence Therapy

Accessing long-term memories through reminiscence can be a way of connecting a person with dementia with wellbeing - and a bridge to communication for carers.

The Elder Interview

The Elder Interview: Nigel Franklin, CEO of Arts 4 Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia works with creative organisations to facilitate workshops for people with dementia. We talk to CEO Nigel Franklin about the power of the arts to challenge and inspire people after a diagnosis.

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How Live-in Care Can Help Learning in Later Life

Late-life learning is a powerful way to increase well-being in older people, keeping them engaged and stimulated by life – and their own capabilities.

The Elder Interview

The Elder Interview: Julia Jones, Co-founder of John’s Campaign

Julia Jones is co-founder of John’s Campaign, to recognise the invaluable role of dementia carers in hospitals. We talk to her about the progress that has been made, and how much further there is to go.

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A Guide to Dementia-friendly Days Out

How do you ensure a trip out with an elderly family member is enjoyable for everyone? We look at the challenges – and solutions for the perfect day out together

The Elder Interview

The Elder Interview: Beth Britton, Campaigner, Writer and Dementia Consultant

We talk to campaigner, consultant and writer Beth Britton about the power of positive communication around dementia.

The Elder Interview

Interview with Christina Macdonald, Author of Dementia Care: A Guide

We talk to Christina Macdonald about what inspired her to write her book and the importance of thinking and planning ahead when your loved one has had a diagnosis of dementia.

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Displaying inclusivity: how museums and galleries are responding to visitors with dementia

Museums, galleries and other venues are focusing on making the arts more dementia friendly and better equipped to enable those with the condition to enjoy them.

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Creating a Dementia-friendly Home

Thoughtful design and adaptation can make a living environment dementia-friendly - and allow those with the condition to stay at home for longer with live-in care.

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Why One is the Loneliest Number For The Elderly

There are over a million lonely older people in the UK now, and the number is on the rise. We look at how solutions such as live-in care could help to stem the UK’s loneliness epidemic.

The Elder Interview

The Elder Interview: James Ashwell, Founder of Unforgettable.org

James Ashwell’s experience of caring for his mum led him to set up the industry leading website Unforgettable.org – a one-stop dementia resource offering products, services and advice for those with the condition, their families and carers. We talked to him about the importance of providing accessible solutions and the power of even simple products to change the quality of life of someone with dementia.

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The Elder Interview: Matthew Äikäs-Adams, Founder of the Ally Bally Bee Project

The Ally Bally Bee Project is the world’s first personalised children’s book about dementia. The project was developed by the Äikäs-Adams family, who wanted to create a resource that could help adults to explain dementia in the family to small children.

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Eight Great Dementia Products That Can Make Life Easier

A diagnosis of dementia means finding new, adapted and often innovative ways to support everyday living. We list some of the challenges faced by those living with dementia – and some great products, from low-key to high-tech, that can help.

Interview with Tommy Petillo, Product Designer and Dementia Circle Website Manager

We talk to product designer and Dementia Circle web manager Tommy Petillo about the value of inclusive design, sharing information and how both can empower people to live independently for longer.

The Elder Interview

Interview with Jeni Lennox of The Dementia Dog Project

The Dementia Dog project is a pioneering initiative in Scotland that aims to pair people in the early phases of dementia with an assistance dog trained to provide tailored support in their day-to-day lives.

The Elder Interview

Interview with Nicola Cooper, Senior Technology Co-ordinator for Alzheimer Scotland

As Senior Technology Co-ordinator for Alzheimer Scotland, Nicola Cooper is part of a team that promotes independent living through the use of technology, complementing human care and support.

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The Digital Third Age – Live-in carers help elderly get online

While younger generations debate over whether the internet connects or alienates, the older population is increasingly finding digital life a positive way to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

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Live-in Care Boom Boosts Later Life Choices

Live-in home care, where ‘companion carers’ are carefully matched to provide support and continuity, is the fastest-growing model in the care sector.