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
We have sent ongoing request directly to the Mayor and Council Leaders to provide printed material, phone lines and radio information for all older residents especially those without access to online info or IT
Digital divide: https://pailondon.org.uk/tackling-the-digital-divide/
|NHS London Reorganisation|
We have written to Sir David Sloman, Chief executive of NHS London, asking him to ensure that older people are consulted in the forthcoming reorganisation of the NHS and that hospital transport is included in the plan.
NHS Reorganisation: https://pailondon.org.uk//var/www/vhosts/pailondon.org.uk/httpdocs/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/NHS-reorg-email-to-David-Sloman-1.docx
Over 75s TV License
We have sent a message to the BBC Board of Directors asking them to at least postpone the discontinuation of the free licence due early August until shielding has ended, and asked the GLA and councils to promote pension credit take up as recipients are exempt from fee.
|Meeting with TFL|
PAIL Chair Chris Walsh was one of a number of people invited to join a virtual meeting of representatives of equality groups with Transport for London last week where we were updated about the consequences of the negotiations between TFL and the government, which resulted in morning rush hour restrictions being placed on using the 60+ Oyster card and the Freedom pass as well as a complete restriction on young people travel passes at all times and over the longer term increases in the costs of fares and congestion charges.We were told that because the negotiations were held with little notice and needed quick decisions some of the decisions reached were still being finalised and they would welcome input from us. PAIL asked a number of questions to which we have just received the answers which you can view on our website
Safety on Public Transport and in Society
We are raising the issues of face masks and protection firstly on public transport and secondly in shops and other restricted spaces. The science shows that wearing face masks reduces the public risk, as does maintaining and enforcing the 2 meter rule and restricting numbers. Given the mass refusal by many to voluntarily wear them this will need a government enforced instruction along with the provision of masks for travelers as elsewhere in Europe.
With the fast decision to tell those 2.2 million deemed vulnerable due to health conditions they can leave their homes and the general relaxation of lock down there is a widespread fear that the 5 tests issued by the government are not being met and we are calling for clear evidence that all 5 tests are actively being met before any further easing of the lock down, with proven adequate supplies of PPE and TTI in place. For more details go on our website.
PAiL is pleased to say that at last our lobbying as part of the wider age movements raised concerns and the work of the GLA and other councils to get the government to enforce a rule that masks must be worn on public transport has paid off. It will now be compulsory to wear masks on public transport. We hope that this edict will also apply to wider areas of concern such as enclosed public spaces like shops and that the government will provide masks for those without them before entering tubes or trains.
Section 2 – Keeping Well At Home
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..
|The Centre for Ageing Better have published an online document that includes some very useful information on the response to Covid-19 https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/age-friendly-communities-and-covid-19|
|Helping with Dementia during lockdown|
South London’s Health Innovation Network has produced a useful guide on activities for those with or caring for people with dementiahttps://healthinnovationnetwork.com//var/www/vhosts/pailondon.org.uk/httpdocs/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Maintaining-Activities-for-Older-Adults-during-COVID19.pdf
Water street trees in your neighbourhood Young and newly planted trees need regular water to survive. This Spring has been dry and Trees for Cities are asking people to help water a few of them near to your home. For more information about how to go about it, please see https://www.treesforcities.org/get-involved/volunteer/help-us-water-street-trees
Park toilets are being re-opened Those of you who can get out and about will be pleased to know that park toilets are beginning to reopen. You can check it out on London Parks website www.goparks.londonImprove your wellbeing
We are pleased to let you know that the GLA has heeded our advice to provide printed information and have now produced a set of postcards ‘Six ways to improve your wellbeing’. See https://thriveldn.co.uk/resources/Six-ways-to-improve-your-wellbeing/
|Street Changes Because of Social Distancing|
As London Boroughs are changing street layouts to cope with social distancing it’s important that older people and disabled needs are taken into account. The RNIB has just started a campaign to ensure disabled people concerns are taken into account,. https://e-activist.com/page/61212/action/1?ea.tracking.id=8ee5e017 Domestic abuse For help in tackling domestic abuse affecting older people see the help that can be provided by Hourglass a charity helping older people.https://www.wearehourglass.org/
For help in tackling domestic abuse affecting older people see the help that can be provided by Hourglass a charity helping older people.
Section 3 – Education Campaigns & Ext. Links
Pail supports the call that BAME communities are given additional protection and support to address the concerns that they are more at risk from Covid 19 and the govt publishes it’s guidelines to ensure this happens. Many of our members are from BAME communities and we know that you are in triple jeopardy if you are older, have a health condition and are BAME
Face covering during the pandemic The GLA have produced guidance on using face masks during the crisis – https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/face-covering-guidance BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-52736284
Age Platform Europe’s statement ( Europe’s official over 50s lobbying , campaigning and research network) regarding the work around the 20s being the decade of Healthy Ageinghttps://age-platform.eu/press-releases/crisis-set-us-apart-recovery-must-bring-us-together-new-age-report-says
Protecting the use of cash during the crisisVulnerable people risk being unable to access the money they need to pay for goods and services, unless the government acts to support the “fragile” cash system, the consumer group Which? has warned.https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jun/02/government-urged-to-protect-access-to-cash-for-most-vulnerable?CMP=share_btn_link