Welcome to this our June newsletter for PAiL community and older Londoners. Please feel free to distribute to your friends and networks or use any of the information to include in your own newsletters.
To be a voice of older Londoners and to ensure that our concerns, issues and recommendations are heard and relayed to the GLA, local boroughs and relevant government and health officials.
(We will include a number of links to advice and petitions from partner age organisations, please feel free to send us more such links for future editions.)
Section 1 – PAiL Actions
In this section we outline the steps that we are taking to improve the lives of older Londoners:
London Recovery Plan
We are working to influence London’s Recovery Plan to the pandemic which is being developed by the GLA and leaders across London by sending our statement and Principles for an age friendly recovery to the London Recovery Board, the GLA, local councils, age partners and local age UK branches, plus GLA Assembly members and MPs see link https://pailondon.org.uk/2020/06/09/londons-recovery-planning-from-the-pandemic-needs-to-address-older-londoners-needs/ This is in response to the governments recovery process proposals (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-announced-for-london-s-covid-19-recovery.)
The Recovery Board has just started its work and you can contribute your ideas to how London recovers – https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/londons-recovery-coronavirus-crisis
We are pleased that our proposals have received positive responses from members of the LRB and some MP’s. Keep you informed of the progress on our website
As part of our work in trying to support the GLA moving forward in realising the commitment of the Mayor to make London Age-Friendly, Pail and University of the 3rd Age have formed a wider age movement coalition – The London Age Friendly Coalition to develop recommendations for an Action Plan to take this forward within the time frame left for this administration. As London’s seniors have been in the forefront of lockdown and Covid 19 suffering we need the inspiration of a vision for an Age-Friendly city and hope that this initiative will speed up the process.
We will be putting up our proposals on our website www.pailondon.org.uk by the end of June
Our campaign around the TfL’s restriction on use of Over 60s and Freedom pass holders as well as on young people’s passes continues. We have asked for a copy of the Equalities Impact Assessment Report from Tfl and have complained to London councils that their use of the word ‘risky’ as well as ‘at risk’ when referring to the over 60s by them is unproven and inflammatory language. Neither have as yet responded The TUC have been sent a reply by Tfl – and the info is here. You can read more about the issues that the Mayor considered in taking this decision on the Greater London Authority website: https://www.london.gov.uk/decisions/md2642-temporary-changes-free-travel-arrangements-older-londoners
|You can read more about the issues that the Mayor considered in taking this decision on the Greater London Authority website: https://www.london.gov.uk/decisions/md2642-temporary-changes-free-travel-arrangements-older-londoners lease put up under a separate BAME section of the Coronavirus Section.|
Government Covid ‘Task force’ will not relax two metre rule for public transport over TFL’s head, says Sadiq Khan
Supporting BAME seniors
One of the terrible aspects of coronavirus is how it has hit BAME communities the hardest. The death rate from COVID-19 in England is four times higher for black people and three times higher for Asian people than for their white counterparts. London, where 40% of the population are from ethnic minority background has seen some of the highest death and hospitalisation rates during the pandemic and even within London the number of ethnic minority deaths remains disproportionately high.
Nationally the Office for National Statistics data taking into account factors such as age, geography, deprivation and health highlights the stark differences affecting BAME communities. Men and women of Black ethnic background, where risk of death was nearly double (1.9 times higher) compared with people of white background.
Men of Bangladeshi or Pakistani background were 1.8 times more likely to die than white men, while women were 1.6 times more likely to die than white women. People of other ethnic backgrounds, including Indian, were also more likely to die than white people.
And worryingly in the NHS 103 healthcare workers died from coronavirus by the end of April. BAME people represented 63 per cent of those deaths.
PAiL supports the need for more research on reasons for this massive disparity of deaths plus an urgent investigation into health inequalities affecting BAME communities and also racism within the NHS.
We have curated some helpful sources of information to help you find out more about this terrible situation.
Understanding Covid-19 & Its Effect On BAME People
The Public Health England Report on disparities of COVID
The missing sections of the Public Health England Report:
Analysis of BAME Covid Statistics
https://www.ifs.org.uk/inequality/chapter/are-some-ethnic-groups-more-vulnerable-to-covid-19-than-others/BAME employees in the NHS and the risks they suffer from Coronavirushttps://www.bma.org.uk/news-and-opinion/bame-doctors-hit-worse-by-lack-of-ppe
Section 2 – Keeping Well At Home & Going Out
In this section, we outline some of the information we have come across that will help older Londoners get through the challenging times we are all facing..
Face masks for over 60’s
PAIL supports the campaign by age organisations and the Mayor to ensure people’s safety is enhanced by wearing face masks and are pleased that the government has now agreed to enforce mask-wearing on London’s transport network. There are still questions about how well this is and can be enforced as well as we need to know more about what masks are the most effective, what risk older people especially BAME seniors, face and whether these masks will be available for all those unable to find or pay for masks.
It is essential that public toilets reopen as more of us are getting out and about. The Toilet Consortium – which PAiL is a member of – is urging local authorities to reopen their toilets safely and calling on the Government to issue guidance. If your local toilets are not open, write to your local council.
Disabled Toilet Keys – RADAR and other toilet keys can be obtained for a few pounds from a number of outlets. See www.ageukincontinence.co.uk
‘Just Can’t Wait’ Cards – This is a small card that you can use to tell shop- and café-managers discretely that you have a medical condition and need to use the toilet urgently. They are available for a small sum from a number of charities including www.bladderandbowel.org.
Statistics show that those aged 75 years and over were almost twice as likely as those aged 16 to 24 years to report high anxiety during lockdown. This is particularly acute for those living alone who may be lonely and not get support. Helpful tips about preventing loneliness are herehttps://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/06/loneliness-prevention-tips-for-older-people-during-lockdown/
Now many shops have reopened here is a guide to what to expect and how you can keep safe https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/06/coronavirus-lockdown-when-will-shops-reopen/
Dental practices reopening
Some dental practices have reopened and have initiated new safety procedures for coronavirus – here’s what to expect when you next visit your dentist https://www.dentalhealth.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=c663e631-18f4-4184-beb6-801b863d3ce9
Section 3 – Education Campaigns & Ext. Links
|World Elder Abuse Awareness Day|
It’s estimated that 500,000 older people experience elder abuse in the UK – practical help available is here https://www.thenationalcareline.org/AccessingHelp/ActionOnElderAbuse
|NHS Trace and Test Scams|
The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. What you need to know: Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service. All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never:ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kindask for any details about your bank accountask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contactsask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone elseask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHSIf you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
The GLA website has some useful links. The focus is on digital support for charities rather than digital inclusion specifically: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/coronavirus-covid-19-civil-society-support#acc-i-60865
Protecting The Elderly Post Covid-19
We are working to influence London’s Recovery Plan to the pandemic which is being developed by the GLA and leaders across London (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-announced-for-london-s-covid-19-recovery.)
We’re campaigning for older peoples needs to not get forgotten as London starts to recover and that there is an opportunity for older Londoners to contribute to a very new agenda facing London. Please let us have your thoughts on what should be the priorities for older people in London in these plans. Send your ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer 2020 Ransackers Newsletter is now available to download from the website. Here is the link: ransackersassociation.org
Our newsletters highlight issues that Ransackers are concerned about, for instance: keeping your brain active, access to cheap or free courses, issues re I.T. and living in a progressively digital world. This newsletter focuses on arts activities.