A life worth living

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					Combating Social Exclusion
 Learning, Older People and
        Skills for Life
          Amy Swan
         Help the Aged
We’re certainly living longer….




                   Source: Life expectancy at birth 1901-2021
                   (ONS online nugget, November 2005)
Inequality on our doorstep




                   Jubilee Line Map
        The divided nation
• Growing older is a   •Growing older is
  peasant and          about loss:
  happy experience     •Loss of work
• Long-awaited         •Friends and loved
  holidays             ones
• Rediscover           •Income and the
  friends and family   needs it can meet
• Baby boomers         •Health
                       •Dignity
         But are we growing older
             “successfully”?

                            Health
Yes there are increasing numbers of older workers, but
1.   38% of people in Great Britain aged 65-74 and 50% of those
     aged 75+ have a limiting longstanding illness (26)
2.   Men in the UK can expect to live their last 6.7 years with a
     disability. For women, the average is 8.8 years (27)
3.   Falls represent over half of hospital admissions for accidental
     injury (28)
4.   Nearly 700,000 people are estimated to be suffering from
     dementia in the UK in 2007 and, by 2025, the number is
     expected to rise to one million (29)
5.   Depression affects about 1 person in 8 over 65 (29)
       But are we growing older
           “successfully”?
                       Wealth
Yes pensioner poverty reduction better than others but..
• 2 million below poverty line (before housing costs) in
  2006
• 1 in 6 persistently poor
• 1 million in “deep” poverty
• 19% of Black and Minority Ethnic Elders in “deep”
  poverty
• 2.1m have no savings
• 2.3m have savings less than £3000
Ageing Successfully?
       Assets
Having a life becomes harder to have
         Spotlight Report 2007

•   Isolation
•   Combating Poverty
•   Challenging Neglect
•   Defeating Ageism
•   Preventing Future Deprivation
  Changes to the way society
         functions
• More and more services made available
  exclusively online
• Digital Switchover
• Self-Directed Care
• Chip and Pin
• Local Democracy - fewer and fewer
  people want to become councillors or
  vote in council elections
           Financial Literacy

• Financial Exclusion and Financial Abuse
• The model consumer

• “I also think teaching older people how to
  manage on a very small income would be
  useful. As example cooking for one. The cost
  of every day needs for a basic lifestyle has
  made living very difficult for a lot of people.”
Mrs O was brought up in a middle-class family and
attended private school. She married and had
children and worked mainly at home. The family were
comfortably off. In her 50s her husband died, leaving
her well provided for but, although she was very
articulate, she found herself unable to deal with a
wide range of financial practicalities which her
husband had always handled. She had never written
a cheque, she did not know how to read a bank
statement, and she could not even check her change
in shops to see if it was correct. She was also unable
to make simple calculations under pressure: since
she had a slight disability she had a mobility
allowance which paid for part (the first £3) of her taxi
fares, but If the fare came to, say, £6.20, she got
flustered trying to calculate what she owed while the
taxi driver was waiting, and usually ended up paying
extra out of embarrassment.
          Recommendations:
Help the Aged is calling on the Government and
the FSA to:
• set out their approach to delivering financial capability
   to older people
• support and resource voluntary sector initiatives to
   promote financial education and tackle bad debt
• recognise that unless the issue of problem debt is
   tackled across all age groups, government objectives
   to tackle pensioner poverty will be undermined
• be aware that providing advice in schools, the
   workplace and through the internet will not deliver to
   the most excluded older population: alternative
   delivery mechanisms are necessary
         Technology Literacy

• 70 per cent of over-65s have never
  used the internet
• Lack of practical basic training available
• UK online centres

  „It [technology] frightens me off. I can just manage the
  telephone plus various TVs, etc. I hate pressing
  buttons – even on the phone listening to various
  numbers for various sections of the department.‟
          Recommendations
• Government must invest in ICT literacy.
• case law should be used to force accessibility up the
  agenda
  Government needs to review its digital strategy now if
  it is meet its obligations, as agreed at Riga, with
  regard to tackling the digital divide
  Government should set up a grants programme
  administered by an impartial organisation to
  encourage diversity of learning and inclusive projects
  in ICT learning for older people
          Citizenship Literacy

• PSA 21: „Build more cohesive, empowered
  and active communities‟

• “It‟s not enough to have the voice. You have to use it
  effectively. It means influencing authorities, being
  included in committees, taken into partnerships and
  being involved in more that token consultation. To be
  taken seriously you need to be well-informed about
  the issues, to find out how decision-making systems
  work and to know a bit about tactics.”
Participation in Community
and Voluntary activities at
    least once a month
   70
   60                                                  Civic
   50                                                  Participation
   40                                                  Informal
                                                       Volunteering
   30
                                                       Formal
   20
                                                       Volunteering
   10
                                                       Volunteering
   0
                                                  er   All activities
        19

              24

                       34

                             49

                                      64

                                            an 74
                                                ov
   to

             to

                   to

                            to

                                  to

                                           to
                                              d
  16

        20

                  25

                        35

                                 50

                                       65
                                           75
          Recommendations
• The Empowerment White Paper
• Current structures of community empowerment such
  as older people‟s forums need to be given increased
  support and training on citizenship skills.
• Every local authority should hold a campaign on
  citizenship to get older people more involved and
  show them the opportunities open to them.
• Every care home, day centre and other longterm care
  setting should draw up a policy or „citizenship
  manifesto‟ setting out its aims, ethos and how it will
  encourage active citizenship learning for older
  people.
     Health Literacy
• Up to 70 per cent of the factors
  contributing to population health
  are outside of the remit of the
  formal health care system
• Promote health and wellbeing;
  active healthy lifestyles
• Complex health care decisions
        Recommendations
• Skilled for Health pilot sites (Department of
  Health)
• Individual budgets
• Better provision of local exercise
  opportunities
• Existing one-off projects in health literacy
  should be made sustainable for older people
  who currently have no other opportunities
  available to them
• Information Prescriptions

				
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