The Elder Magazine
Growing Older: Why Wales Can Become the Best Place in the World to Grow Older
Heléna Herklots became the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales in August of this year, to act as an independent voice and champion for its older population. We talked to her about her aims for her tenure and why she feels Wales can become the “best place in the world to grow older”.
Parkinson's disease: the developments and challenges of new brain therapies
Dr Emma Lane’s research in conjunction with the BRAIN Unit in Wales looks into the potential and efficacy of delivering medicine and even new cells to the brain in those living with Parkinson’s. We talk to her about the challenges of this - and also the wider application of these technologies in the future
Care advice sections
Age-Friendly Manchester: Amplifying the Voice of Older People in Society
Age-Friendly Manchester leader, Susan Cooley has been at the forefront of the city’s move to age inclusivity, including being designated an age-friendly city by the World Health Organization in 2010. We talk to her about how far they've come - and still have to go to create a community where everyone feels they belong.
Travels with my Granny: Helping Children to Understand Dementia
New children’s book Travels with my Granny aims to give children an accessible way to understand and talk about dementia, through the imaginative relationship between the characters of granny and her grandchild - and their journeys together. We spoke to the author, Juliet Rix, about the inspiration behind the story.
Digital Health Interventions: The Low Carb Programme Disrupting Diabetes Healthcare
Diabetes Digital Media’s Low Carb Programme is disrupting healthcare, providing scalable digital solutions and using data to change the lives of people with diabetes. We talked to CEO Arjun Panesar about the potential of tech in healthcare and the power of digital communities to support people with health challenges.
The Power of Safety Innovation: Simple Safeguarding for People in Vulnerable Circumstances
For SGN, the gas distribution company, safety and innovation are intrinsically linked Currently rolling out a free service across the UK to help keep vulnerable people safe, we spoke to Stakeholder and Community Manager Dan Edwards about their Locking Cooker Valve, understanding customers needs and gas safety.
Community Spirit: Exploring Dementia Care and Support in Rural Areas
Appointed the University of Salford’s first Professor of Dementia in 2016, Anthea Innes is the Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia – and a world expert in rural dementia care. We talked to her about the challenges of providing care in remote places and the importance of community spirit within that.
Understanding Parkinson's: Treating Early Symptoms and Isolating Underlying Causes
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition, for which there is currently no cure. We talk to Dr Arthur Roach, Head of Research at Parkinson’s UK, about recent breakthroughs in treating early symptoms and isolating genetic causes - and the importance this has on understanding and living well with the condition.
Improving Dementia Care: Addressing Inequality in Post-Diagnostic Support
Professor Louise Robinson heads up Newcastle University’s new Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence, looking into post-diagnostic support for people with dementia. We talk to her about whether receiving support through primary care routes, such as GPs or community services, could improve the care people receive.
Food for Life: Improving Nutrition and Encouraging Sociable Mealtimes in Later Life
As Head of Service Design for Food for Life, Francesca Sanders has been involved in creating the Better Care project, which aims to improve wellbeing and nutrition among people in later life. We talked to her about the importance of sociable mealtimes as a way to stimulate interest in food and create connections.
Digital Innovation for Carers: Utilising Everyday Technology to Implement Better Care
Harnessing the power of ‘everyday tech’ such as smartphone apps may be key to unlocking the digital potential in the care space. We talked to Madeleine Starr, Director of business development and innovation at Carers UK about its new Jointly app – and why beneficial tech doesn’t have to be inaccessible or complicated.
Medicine Management: Improving Healthcare Quality Through Pharmacy Practice Research
Pharmacy practice is a crucial part of the healthcare journey – we talked to Dr Rosemary Lim about her research around improving patient safety and healthcare quality, the importance of the pharmacist’s role and the challenges around medicine management for those taking multiple medicines or living with dementia.
The Significance of Investment into Research to Meet the Growing Challenges of Dementia
Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Centres of Excellence' programme represents one of the UK’s biggest single investments in dementia. We talked to the Head of Research, Development and Evaluation, Colin Capper about the impact the research hubs will have in moving dementia research forward and why continued investment is crucial.
Helpline to Lifeline: The Power of a Simple Conversation to Tackle Loneliness
Can a simple phonecall alleviate loneliness? At The Silver Line, they believe it can – offering a free, confidential helpline, providing 24-hour help, advice and friendship to older people, seven days a week. We talked to CEO Sophie Andrews about the power of connection and a friendly voice at the end of the line.
Integrating Care: Finding Commonality Between Organisations to Implement Best Practise
Co-ordinating many different professions and organisations in the care of older people or those living with dementia is a complex challenge. We talked to researcher Dr Neil Chadborn about the challenges of providing truly integrated care and why networks may provide a more inclusive way for people to access support.
Ageing in Place: What is Technology Enabled Care?
With more people opting for care at home and hospital beds in short supply, could Technology Enabled Care be the key to easing the demands on health and social services? We talk to the CEO of TSA Voice, Alyson Scurfield to find out how to age in place and self-manage health and wellbeing more successfully.
The Unsung Heroes: Support for the Growing Number of Unpaid Carers
In the UK, over 1.3m people over 65 are unpaid carers for someone on an ongoing basis – and this can be a demanding and often isolating role. We talk to Giles Meyer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust about how early intervention is a crucial way to ensure that carers get the help they need to keep healthy and connected.
Ageing Science and Wellbeing: Translating Scientific Research into Tangible Social Benefits
Chief Scientist for Age UK, Professor James Goodwin was one of the creators of the pioneering Wellbeing Index, used by governments and organisations around the world. We talked to him about the importance of this as a measure - and of translating scientific research into tangible social benefits.
Living Well with Dementia and Preventing Decline Through the Provision of Psychosocial Interventions
Professor of Applied Dementia Research at Bradford University, Gail Mountain develops non-drug related interventions for those with dementia. We talked to her about the challenges of effective person-centred research and measuring outcomes.
The Study of Ageing: Understanding Frailty to Deliver Impactful Healthcare
How can a greater understanding of frailty impact healthcare provision and person-centred care? We talked to the President of the British Geriatrics Society (BSG) Dr Eileen Burns about the role, risks and possibilities of reversing frailty as one of the key ways in which research into geriatric medicine is advancing.
To Save, or Not to Save: The Question of Prioritising Pensions and Provision for Later Life
A workplace pension can be a key way of providing for later life, but why do some people prioritise saving and others put it off – or opt out altogether? MICRA researcher Hayley James discusses what people think and do around their workplace pension and the questions it raises around provision for later life.
The Fundamental Right to Quality Social Care: The Challenges of the Care Sector and its Workforce
Care England works to create a social and political environment in which care providers can deliver and develop high quality care for all. CEO Martin Green discusses the challenges of the care sector and its workforce, and the importance of distinguishing between social care and the health service in public awareness.
Addressing Ageism: How Data Can Change Society’s Perception of Our Ageing Population
Age International supports older people in low and middle income countries providing age-friendly emergency relief, challenging attitudes and helping to influence policy. We talked to Head of Policy and Influencing Ken Bluestone about the experience of ageing in the developing world and how best to meet changing need.
Defining Dignity in Later Life: The Role Identity, Empowerment and Agency Can Have in Improving Care
What contributes to a dignified life in later life? For Liz Lloyd, identity and agency are themes that come up time and again in her research. We talked to her about personal and social perceptions of age, the challenges of identity, empowerment and choice - and how these can best be addressed to provide better care.
Best Practice in Care Environments: Seeing People in Later Life as Individuals, Not as Conditions
Passionate about best practice in care environments, Julienne Meyer is the executive director of My Home Life, an initiative that promotes quality of life and positive change in care homes. We talk to her about the importance of relationships in the care space - and empowering people to make their own care decisions.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Developing Dementia: The Supplement May One Day Play a Powerful Role in Prevention
Dr David Llewellyn’s pioneering work on the relationship between vitamin D and dementia is one of the most promising developments in the field in recent years. We talked to him about his research into the risk factors for dementia and the importance of challenging accepted models of disease in order to move forward.
Representing the Underrepresented: Empowering Conversations About Learning Disabilities and Dementia
Karen Watchman helped to create Jenny’s Diary and Supporting Derek, resources to help people with learning disabilities and dementia, families and carers deal with its challenges. We talked to her about how research can improve the lives of those with this complex set of needs - and the importance of effective communication.
The Ageless Quality of Dance: Challenging Perceptions of What People Can Achieve in Later Life
Is there an age limit to dancing? Not for Sadler’s Wells’ Company of Elders, whose amateur dancers perform well into their eighties. For Head of Learning and Engagement, Joce Giles, the Company’s work brings the special presence of older dancers to audiences – and challenges perceptions of what people can achieve in later life.
Where's Your Head At? The Importance of Expressing Emotions at Every Age, Mental Health Foundation
Good mental health can be challenged in later life by loneliness and an absence of places in which to express emotions fully. Jolie Goodman from the Mental Health Foundation discusses the positive power of working in groups for older people - and being a part of creating their own support programmes.
Capturing Dementia Care Stories Through an Unexpected Medium with Dr Simon Grennan, Parables of Care
For many people, comics are a medium of entertainment, but a new micro-comic Parables of Care presents true stories of creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers – and challenges our expectations of the medium and the power it has to present complex information in an accessible way.
Seizing Control of Dementia: Agnes Houston Didn’t Shrink Away From Her Diagnosis, She Rose Up To Meet It
When she was diagnosed with early age dementia at the age of 57, 12 years ago, Agnes Houston found there was little information or hope around her condition. She decided to take control of her life and work to leave a legacy that would allow people living with dementia to stand up and be citizens, rather than victims.
Your Life, Your Story, Your Care: Paving the Way to More Personalised Care with Life Story Network
Our life story is an intrinsic part of our identity. That's why Jean Tottie, founder of the Life Story Network, is so passionate about the importance of recording life stories - whether our own or a relative’s - as a way to provide greater understanding and truly person-centred care.
The Tea Parties That Cultivate Connections and Combat Loneliness with Contact the Elderly
A cuppa, a slice of cake and some good company. It’s the simple yet winning formula that’s kept Contact the Elderly’s monthly tea parties for those over 75 going for 50 years. We talked to acting CEO Cliff Rich about the importance of this lifeline in creating connections and combatting loneliness in later life.
Humanising Healthcare: Person-centred Practice Helping Patients and Professionals to Revolutionise the Care System
Putting people at the centre of their healthcare decision-making gives people – patients and professionals – greater wellbeing and the sense they are more than just a ‘cog in the system’. Researcher Professor Brendan McCormack looks at progress and argues that a greater revolution in healthcare is still needed.
Stopping Dementia: The Potential for Prevention Research, Dr Raymont - University of Oxford/Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
A lead researcher for the EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia) Consortium in Oxford, Dr Vanessa Raymont is at the cutting edge of studies into how we can better assess the risk of dementia, increase brain health throughout life and hopefully one day prevent or delay dementia symptoms at an early stage.
Dementia and Depression in Later Life: Early Biological Changes May One Day Help Us to Predict, Track and Treat Those at Risk
Could we one day predict – and treat – those at risk of dementia years before they have symptoms? Professor John O’Brien’s work at Cambridge University on the role of ‘biomarkers’ may one day make this a reality - as well as helping other conditions such as later life depression.
The Reality of Dementia: The Importance of Evidence-Based Therapy and Honest Debate
Listed as one of the 100 most influential clinicians in England, Professor June Andrews believes only evidence-based therapy and honest debate will make a real difference to those with dementia and their carers. We talked to her about the public conversations that need to happen around dementia – from funding to efficacy – and why.
Learning Disabilities and Dementia: Providing Effective Care for Those with More Complex Needs
Research indicates that people with a learning disability are more likely to develop dementia, and earlier. For MacIntyre’s Emma Killick, it’s vital that boundaries are broken down between specialist healthcare organisations and charities in order to respond to a complex set of needs.
The Care Model That Could Help Solve the Social Care Crisis, Shared Lives Plus
“None of us dream of living in a service or institution - we want to live somewhere we’ve chosen, with people we’ve chosen to be with.” For Shared Lives CEO Alex Fox, family and community life is what makes this care model unique both on a personal level - and in its potential to address larger social care issues.
Brain Games: How Table Tennis Can Slow Cognitive Decline with Bounce Alzheimer's Therapy
Dubbed the ‘number one brain game’ and ‘chess on steroids’, table tennis could be the next big therapy for those with cognitive challenges. The Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy (BAT) Foundation has created the world’s first therapeutic table and founder, Ian Craigton-Chambers, is passionate about the benefits of regular play.
Doll Therapy: The Controversial Intervention for People Living with Dementia, Dr Gary Mitchell
Dr Gary Mitchell is one of the UK’s leading researchers on doll therapy, an often misunderstood intervention for people living with dementia – we discuss the myths and controversy but ultimately, how the positive impact it can have on people living with the condition can outweigh the misunderstandings.
See the Person, Not the Dementia: Tommy Whitelaw on Carers and the Power of People in Isolating Times
Tommy Whitelaw became a full-time carer after his mum was diagnosed with dementia. His Tommy on Tour blog helped him to deal with the isolation, asking people to share their own stories of caring. We talk to Tommy about his experience and commitment to raising awareness by aiming to give 794 talks in four years.
Building Confidence in Mind and Body with The Dementia Swimming Project
Swim England’s Dementia Swimming Project is based around pool sessions designed to create a safe and friendly swimming environment for those with the condition. We talked to Karen Tremlett from Bristol’s Hengrove Park Leisure Centre about the importance of these special sessions for building confidence and activity.
Dementia 2020 Citizens Panel: Making Britain the Best Place in the World for Dementia Care
Commissioned by the Department of Health the Dementia 2020 Citizen's Panel gives people with dementia and their carers a chance to discuss the experience of living with dementia. We talked to Gareth James from the Dementia and Disabilities Unit about the aims for and importance of this wide-ranging initiative.
The Gift of Volunteering: Supporting our Ageing Society with the Royal Voluntary Service
Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest – and oldest - volunteer organisations in Britain. We talked to Dr Allison Smith, Head of Strategy and Development, about the positive contribution volunteering makes to the community – and to individuals’ wellbeing, particularly in later life.
Dementia Across Borders: Alzheimer’s Disease International on the Global Approach to Dementia
Paola Barbarino, CEO of Alzheimer's Disease International, on the organisation's goal of making dementia a global health priority, cultivating understanding, both locally and globally, and working to reduce the stigma associated with the condition.
Music in Mind: Exploring the Relationship Between Music and Dementia with John McHugh
Music in Mind's 'Hidden Voice' project uses the power of music to improve health and wellbeing in those living with dementia. Not only does it raise awareness but also successfully gives a voice to those who still wish, and deserve, to be heard.
Food for Thought: Healthy Eating for the Elderly - Food Scientist, Joanne Holmes on Enhancing the Eating Experience
The mealtime experience is essential for maintaining a healthy appetite in later life, especially for those in care. Joanne Holmes' explores the importance of socialisation, stimulation and choice when it comes to improving nutrition.
Preserving Memory, Not Just History: National Museums Liverpool Dementia Awareness Programme
House of Memories is a pioneering museum-led awareness programme developed by National Museums Liverpool for carers and those with dementia. We talked to Carol Rogers, who led the programme’s development, about the unique role that museums can play in social care.
No Rest for the Aged: Scarlett McNally on the Importance of Keeping Active at Any Age
"We need to challenge the idea that old people should rest. People need to keep active however old they are,” insists orthopaedic surgeon Scarlett McNally. We discuss the importance of exercise at all ages with her, and why a brisk walk may be the best medicine.
Confronting Later Life Loneliness: Connecting the Elderly with LinkAge Network
LinkAge Network is a Bristol-based charity supporting community development for older people to help reduce social isolation and loneliness. CEO Jo Stokes talks to The Elder about the power and potential of the Network and her hopes for future community collaboration in the city.
Planning Well: An (Un)Expected Journey with Hospice UK’s Sarah Russell
Dr Sarah Russell, Head of Research at Hospice UK, has over 25 years’ experience in palliative care. We talked to her about the positioning of death in modern society, the idea of “dying well” and the importance of advance care planning at any stage of life.
Inequalities in Later Life: Dr Laurie Corna, Lecturer in Gerontology, King’s College London
We talked to Dr Laurie Corna, Lecturer in the field of Ageing at King's College London about the positive implications of gerontological education and the power of an interdisciplinary approach to the issues of later life.
Ageing Without Agency: Rethinking Old Age with Professor Paul Higgs, UCL
Professor of the Sociology of Ageing at UCL, Paul Higgs has co-authored six books on ageing - we discuss the “fourth age”, a concept put forward in one of his most recent, the idea of “personhood” and the complexity of the role of dementia carers.
The Importance of Taking Action for People with Dementia: Andy Tysoe and the #DementiaDO Campaign
Dementia Nurse Andy Tysoe, founder of #DementiaDO and a coordinator for the Sporting Memories Network is passionate about improving dementia care. We talk to him about encouraging people to see dementia as a disability and moving towards real inclusion.
Confronting Tomorrow’s Challenges Today – An Interview With Later Life Ambitions
Later Life Ambitions (LLA) brings together the collective voices of a quarter of a million pensioners to encourage today’s decision makers to confront the challenges of tomorrow. We talked to LLA about the importance of focusing on an aspirational and ambitious future for those in later life.
Restoring Lost Memories for Those Living with Dementia: The WAYBACK Project
Dan Cole, one of the founders of the WAYBACK Project, explores the potential of virtual reality films to help those living with dementia and their carers – and the collective goodwill involved in getting the project off the ground.
Shining a Light on Lewy Body Dementia - An Interview with Ashley Bayston of the The Lewy Body Society
We talked to Ashley Bayston, about the importance of raising awareness of Lewy body dementia and making it as much of a recognised name as Alzheimer’s - and how the society is supporting vital research into the condition.
Before I Forget: Preserving Our Stories Using Digital Memory Curation - Dr Nick Barratt
Nick Barratt is an author, broadcaster and historian best known for his work on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are. We talked to him about the power and potential of using digital memory curation to preserve our stories.
On a Mission to Improve Later Life: Young Trailblazer Natasha Wilson of Age UK Sheffield
We talked to Natasha Wilson, Care Coordinator at Age UK Sheffield, about the importance of intergenerational relationships, what she has learned about later life working with older people and her vision for the future of dementia and later life care.
Safe to Be Me: The Issues Around LGBT Ageing - An Interview with Sally Knocker
Sally Knocker, consultant trainer with Dementia Care Matters and author of the Age UK resource Safe to be Me, looks at the issues around LGBT ageing and offers practical advice for inclusive services in which people can feel safe to be themselves.
Prevention – The Pledge the NHS Really Needs from All of Us
Following this year's General Election campaign which was dominated by the different political parties putting forward their funding proposals for the NHS and social care, is the long-term solution less about funding reactive healthcare and more about preventing the preventable?
The National Care Forum: Transforming the Care Space, An Interview with Vic Rayner
We talked to Vic Rayner, The National Care Forum’s Executive Director, about the work the organisation does to promote quality care and help its members to innovate, respond to change and transform the care space for the future.
The Implications of Living Well with Dementia: Exploring Resilience with Dr Julie Christie
We talked to Dr Julie Christie about how people can be resilient and how those with dementia can adapt in the face of threat, particularly to their sense of identity – and why this can unlock new understandings of those living with the condition.
Clothing and Identity in Later Life: An Interview with Professor Julia Twigg
We talked to Julia Twigg, Professor of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent about the impact of clothes on creating and maintaining identity and the idea of “old age” as a cultural construct as well as a physical reality.
The Age of No Retirement: Challenging Ageing Narratives with Jonathan Collie
We talked to co-founder of The Age of No Retirement, Jonathan Collie, about the concept of retirement, intergenerational entrepreneurship, investing in later life and the power of bold new thinking around age-inclusive productivity.
Dementia Across Cultures and Ethnicities: An Interview with Author, Dr Julia Botsford
We talked to Dr Julia Botsford about the questions and issues that cultural and ethnic differences can raise in the provision of support and the creation of services for those living with dementia and their families.
Technology and Gaming for the Elderly: Improving Wellbeing with Dr Hannah Marston
We talked to Dr Hannah Marston of the Open University about the potential of technology and digital gaming to improve wellbeing and facilitate exercise in later life.
New Dynamics of Ageing: Professor Alan Walker, University of Sheffield
We talked to Professor Alan Walker about the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, its aims, the importance of its findings for how we as individuals and as a society approach the challenges and potential of longevity.
How to Age: Exploring Cultural Anxiety Around Ageing with Author Anne Karpf
We talked to Anne Karpf about the cultural anxiety around ageing, the question of what “feeling old” means - and the impact of austerity on the narrative of later life in the UK today.
Strategic Initiative on Aging: The Positive Impact of Emerging Technologies, IBM Research
We talked to Susann about the positive impact of emerging technologies on older people and their carers, the potential of artificial intelligence in the ageing space, and how we now live in an environment of information.
Ageing Well: Creating an Age Friendly UK, the Beth Johnson Foundation
Lynne Wealleans from the Beth Johnson Foundation talks about the need to give people a voice in challenging times, how “ageing well” is a personal definition and the power of making a real difference at community level.
The Future of Ageing: Enabling Lifelong Productivity and Engagement, the Milken Institute Centre
The Center for the Future of Aging’s mission is to improve lives and strengthen societies by promoting healthy, productive and purposeful ageing.
Dementia Care: The Positive Power of Creativity - Rebecca Packwood, the Age Exchange
The Age Exchange is an intergenerational community hub in Blackheath, south London which focuses on active ageing. It is also the locus for Reminiscence Arts projects, interventions and training programmes run by the Exchange’s project workers and volunteers for the local community.
Living With Dementia: An Interview With Chris Roberts and His Wife Jayne
We talked to Chris Roberts and his wife Jayne about the perceptions of dementia, the challenges for families on diagnosis and the power of working together as a husband and wife team.
The Universal Challenges Facing Europe's Ageing Population - Alfonso Montero, European Social Network
Alfonso Montero is Policy Director of the European Social Network, a network that brings together those who plan, finance, research, manage, regulate and deliver social services to look at the issues the sector faces – and discuss how best to approach them.
How Music Can Help Those With Dementia and Their Families
Playlist for Life is on a mission to raise awareness about the positive power of music and its ability to improve the lives of those with dementia and their families. By making a playlist of personally meaningful music, it's possible to curate a ‘musical life story’ that can resonate, stimulate and even help to make daily life easier on a practical level. We talked to Sarah Metcalfe, Chief Executive for Playlist for Life, about the ways in which music can bring people together and connect those living with dementia back to themselves – and the launch of Playlist for Life’s new app.
Sara's Quest to Change the Visual Portrayal of Later Life #NoMoreWrinklyHands
Sara Livadeas is a consultant to the care sector on strategy, performance, quality and market position. She is also a passionate advocate for changing the visual portrayal of later life that is used online and in the media – highlighting the use of ‘dehumanising’ and negative imagery under the Twitter hashtag #nomorewrinklyhands. We talk to her about the power of changing the way we look at later life and why it takes action to raise awareness.
My Ageing Parent's Co-founder Tells Us Why They're the UK's Biggest Elderly Care Information Portal
Myageingparent.com is the largest information portal in the UK providing information to help families to help their older relatives and loved ones live life to the full. The site provides information and signposting on a wide range of later life issues from how to keep older relatives active to care funding and legal issues as well as articles on how to cope with the stress of looking after parents as they age and an online shop. We talked to Co-founder Deborah Stone about why it is so important to have easy access to reliable information when you are caring for an elderly loved one.
David Prendergast Explores the Potential of Technologies to Revolutionise Later Life
David Prendergast is a social anthropologist based at Intel and author of ‘Aging and the Digital Life Course.' This collection of essays was awarded 2016 CHOICE ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ by the American Library Association and described by the Huffington Post as 'one of the two most fascinating books on aging in the 21st Century’. We talked to him about the potential of technologies to create new forms of community, support caregivers and revolutionise the way that later life is lived.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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.
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: 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.
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: Beth Britton, Campaigner, Writer and Dementia Consultant
We talk to campaigner, consultant and writer Beth Britton about the power of positive communication around dementia.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.