LAFF Progress 2020

London Age Friendly Forum ( LAFF)  Presentation of History, Priorities, Proposals  and Future actions to enable an age Friendly London Action Plan .

The aim of this document is to inform LAFF members and working group leads and prospective age related voluntary sector working group members as to the history of the process of making London age friendly and to summarise the priorities and proposals that were drafted for and after the GLA March conference.

Please note that there is also an additional document attached summarising the feedback and additional issues and recommendations for policies and priorities which were drafted by older Londoner representatives and individuals who attended the independent follow up March 6 Conference, organised by Positive Ageing in London.  

(note this document has been produced by LAFF members, drawing on draft information from Age UK London and the GLA. The inclusion of historical information and reports from the GLA  does not constitute endorsement or commitment  by the GLA or officers to any final  agreed priorities, policies or actions).

 

Background

In 2018 the Mayor signed London up to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. This network was established in 2011 to promote the exchange of experience, good practice and learning between cities and communities around the world. The WHO’s framework for Age-friendly Cities and Communities is based on eight domain areas identified as component parts that contribute to an age-friendly community. These domains include Housing, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Communication and Information, and Transportation.

 

The WHO’s framework sets out four stages 1) Engage and Understand 2) Plan 3) Act and 4) Measure.

 

The Mayor has been leading a collaborative process involving older people’s stakeholder organisations and individuals from across the capital using this framework to make London one of the world’s leading age-friendly cities.

 

The process so far

Stage 1, ‘Engage and Understand’, of the WHO framework expects a city to

  • engage with its older citizens to identify their priorities for making the city more age-friendly
  • understand the extent to which the city is currently age-friendly.

In Spring 2019 the Intelligence Unit at the GLA produced a report on how age-friendly London is, based on evidence available at that time[1].The findings of this report were presented at a conference of older people, co-organised by Positive Ageing in London and the Mayor’s Older Londoners Stakeholder Network[2], held in May 2019. The findings were also used in workshops that took place at the conference.

 

There were workshops on each WHO age-friendly framework domain. They identified the priorities for making London more age-friendly for that domain.

 

Following the conference individual older people’s organisations offered to lead on a specific ‘domain’. The stakeholder leads are:

  • Age UK London (Transportation)
  • Care and Repair (Housing)
  • Green seniors (‘Communication and Information’)
  • HEAR: Human Rights and Equalities Network (Outdoor spaces and Buildings)
  • Opening Doors London (Respect and Social Inclusion).
  • Positive Ageing in London (‘Employment and Skills’ and ‘Health and Social Care’)
  • U3A London and Capital Age Arts (Civic, cultural and social participation).

Stage 2,Plan’, of the WHO framework expects cities to produce an action plan to make the city more age-friendly, based on the evidence of how age friendly the city is and the priorities of its older citizens.

 

A second stage of workshops were delivered in December 2019 and into January 2020. Each of these workshops focussed on one of the age-friendly domains.[3]

 

At these workshops groups of older Londoners assessed which of the concerns identified at the May 2019 conference they felt to be the most important and listed these in order of priority. The stakeholder domain leads contributed to the preparation of the workshop and presented the key concerns during the workshop.

 

Additional aims of the workshops were to

  • assess which GLA group[4] actions would have the biggest impact on making London age-friendly
  • identify which bodies, other than the GLA group, are critical for making London more age-friendly.

To prepare for these workshops over 200 GLA group actions, collated from across key Mayoral strategies, action plans, implementation plans and other relevant Mayoral documents, were identified as being most relevant to the age-friendly domains.

 

In total the second stage of workshops were attended by 46 older Londoners representing older people’s stakeholder organisations and 14 GLA group officers.

 

The priorities and the order in which they appear are to appear in the action plan, as well as which bodies, other than the GLA group, who are critical for making London more age-friendly were confirmed by attendees at a Mayor’s Older Londoner’s Stakeholder Network event held on 10 February 2020.

 

Further feedback events for older Londoners and their Representatives

These priorities and policies were then discussed by over 70 representatives of age related membership organisations and individuals at a conference organised by Positive Ageing in London at London Metropolitan University on 6 March, at which representatives from Age UK London, University of the 3rd Age, National Pensioners Convention, Greater London Forum of Older people, Trade union retired members, LOPSG and local London borough forums presented papers and spoke. This feedback from older Londoners supported the general priorities as out lined in this document as well as  agreeing additional areas of concern and issues which were deemed to be important and further recommendations proposed for inclusion in the ongoing working group and strategic discussions that will inform the final Age Friendly London strategic  priorities and action plans.

 

Since the lock down, in the absence of further age friendly London activity the 2 age  representatives on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion  Advisory Group set up a meeting with the main London age membership organisations. As a result it was agreed that a London Age Friendly forum  (LAFF) be set up with an executive representing University of the 3rd Age ( and the 3rd Age Trust) Positive Ageing in London, Age UK London, the Greater London forum of older people, Civil Service Pensioners Association, the National Pensioners Convention and retired Trade unionist ( TUC retired members SE England).

 

In the Terms it was agreed that this executive would inform  a wider grouping of age related organisations, including members of LSOG and that LAFF would call on the former domain group leads and a lead from the age sector to hold further domain working group meetings, to which other expert and interested older people’s representatives ( who had previously been involved ) would be invited.

The aim is to restart the process among older Londoner representatives and then engage with Sue Johnson of the GKA EDI section and GLA strategic heads to set up ongoing domain working groups including other relevant public bodies and charities which would then be able to submit proposals for consideration by the Mayor, GLA  and other relevant London bodies ( including London Councils) 

 

The rest of this document sets out

  • the priorities in order of priority,
  • where the GLA has made commitments that address these priorities
  • the partners, other than the GLA, who need to take action to make London more age-friendly
  • suggested next steps.

Housing

A city where all older Londoners can live well at home

Whatever your age, housing has a powerful impact on both physical and mental health. However, for older people, living conditions can be an even more significant determinant of quality of life. There is an extreme shortage of homes that are both affordable and accessible in London. All Londoners should live comfortably and securely in a home that suits their needs. Whilst a safe and warm home is crucial to good health our homes also connect us to the community and are essential to our sense of belonging.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Support older Londoners to live well and safely in their existing homes with better access to aids and adaptations

Personal circumstances change with age and reduced mobility associated with physical impairments and health conditions makes it vital that people are able to make changes to their home. Access to aids and the ability to make adaptations, such as adding grab rails, installing a walk-in shower or lowering a kitchen worktop can be transformative, enabling someone to continue to carry out everyday tasks and live independently.

 

Unfortunately, a lack of support and information, as well as prohibitive costs, can prevent many older Londoners from accessing the adaptations they need. Too few older Londoners are aware of support available to them, including through Home Improvement Agencies. Limited awareness of what funding could be available to support the installation of adaptations, including the Disabled Facilities Grant, is another barrier. Insecurity of tenure for many older private renters, including people in assured shorthold tenancies, can prevent tenants from asking their landlord for support. Both landlords and tenants can be unsure about their entitlements and responsibilities, which can delay improvement work.

 

Reduce the number of older Londoners living in unsafe conditions

The number of older Londoners living in homes that pose a risk to their health and safety remains far too high. From faulty electrical wiring and damaged flooring to cold and damp; thousands of older Londoners across all tenures live in dangerous conditions which put physical and mental health at risk. The ability to have maintenance and repair work done so that people can live safely at home should be a key aspect of public health policy.

 

Repair and maintenance work should be completed in a timely and proficient manner but, for many people, finding a tradesperson that they feel they can trust is a source of anxiety.

 

Support older private renters

The lack of affordable homes and a shortage of social housing in London has resulted in a significant rise in the number of older Londoners renting in the private rented sector. Whilst many older private renters have a positive experience of renting, too many older private renters live in non-decent conditions and lack the security of tenure to feel truly at home.

 

Poor living conditions are a huge problem for renters in London and forecasts have predicted a substantial increase in the number of older private renters living in non-decent homes. The size of London’s private rented sector, along with the increase in the number of older private renters and the capital’s ageing housing stock will mean that a significant proportion of England’s ‘non-decent’ private rented homes will be in London.

 

Ensure the views of older residents are heard in housing decision making (including community led housing initiatives)

Many older people feel excluded from planning decisions and other aspects of housing decision-making. Supporting older Londoners to participate in consultations, meetings and other opportunities to have their say is vital. Resident involvement is a key component of many community-led housing schemes and these schemes should be supported.

 

Other concerns

Action to tackle fuel poverty is a key priority. Across all tenures thousands of older Londoners live in fuel poverty, unable to heat their homes or cook hot food. Too many people are forced to make the choice between heating and eating. As well as exacerbating many existing conditions, the cold can lead to an increased risk of hypothermia, respiratory illness, depression, risk of falls and arthritis, amongst many others.

 

Improving access to affordable homes in London is crucial for older Londoners in all tenures. High property costs particularly affect older renters as they have less capacity for increasing their earnings in response to rent increases. For those that rely on their pension or are approaching retirement, rent increases can leave them particularly vulnerable.

 

Older people are more likely than other age groups to want to stay in their current home. However, for those considering a move the costs associated with moving home, such as estate agent fees, storage and removal costs, can leave people feeling trapped in a home that no longer meets their needs. A range of factors, including caring responsibilities, can mean older workers cut down on their hours at work and the reduced income can make it difficult to meet housing costs. London has the highest rate of ‘pensioner poverty’ in England and the shortage of genuinely affordable housing can force some older people to move away from areas where they have their friends and family.

 

Increasing access to specialist housing for older Londoners is another priority. As London’s older population increases it is vital that more older Londoners have the choice of moving into different forms of specialist housing. There are many different forms of specialist housing for older people from sheltered accommodation to intergenerational and co-housing. Current demand for specialist housing exceeds the availability.

 

It is important that specialist housing is inclusive for all older people. This is particularly important as some groups of older people, such as older LGBTQ+ people, are less likely to say that they feel like they belong in the place that they live.

More than one in three disabled Londoners are over the age of 65 and ensuring all homes are accessible for all is another key priority. Building new homes to a decent standard now will ensure that people of all ages will benefit from inclusively designed homes in the future.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in its ‘London Housing Strategy’, 2018, the ‘London Health Inequalities Strategy’, 2018 and the ‘Fuel Poverty Action Plan for London’, 2018.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Action to ensure all Londoners live in a home where they can live safely involves a wide range of partners. These include London borough housing and enforcement officers as well as local Home Improvement Agencies and borough teams responsible for supporting residents to access aids and adaptations. Local social services are key partners and engaging the London Association of Directors of Adult Social Services is vital.

 

Working with housing associations and private landlords is also imperative. Care and Repair England are an example of a leading charity calling for more support so people can live well at home. The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) are a potential partner to work with on housing, including specialist housing, for older Londoners.

 

All residents should be supported to advocate for their rights. Groups and bodies, such as the Older Peoples Housing Champion’s Network, should be consulted. The Independent Federation of Genesis Residents are an example body representing social tenants that could be consulted. Tenant Associations, Resident Forums, Renter’s Unions and campaigning organisations such as Renters’ Rights London and Age UK London all have a critical role to play to enable older residents to be heard.

 

Engaging with organisations providing advice to older private renters, such as Advice 4 Renters is crucial. Older people make up a significant proportion of landlords and most want to support their tenants, but may not have the guidance they need. Working with landlord associations and local landlord forums is therefore vital.

Along with members of the Mayor’s Fuel Poverty Partnership, campaigning organisations fighting for action to tackle fuel poverty, such as National Energy Action are also potential partners.

 

Building new homes that are accessible and affordable for people of all ages requires the support of developers, London borough planning teams and policy leadership from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

 

Outdoor Spaces and Buildings 

Making outdoor spaces and buildings more age-friendly

The condition of public spaces directly affects older Londoners’ mobility and independence as well as their sense of belonging and inclusion. Without welcoming, safe and accessible outdoor spaces, older people are more likely to stay at home and become isolated, which can cause both their mental and physical health to deteriorate.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Sharing spaces with cyclists

Cycling on pavements increases anxiety about being knocked to the ground and can deter pedestrians from making even short journeys. Enforcement against pavement cycling is perceived as too infrequent to provide a meaningful deterrent and some older people encounter aggressive behaviour when concerns are raised with offending cyclists.

 

The use of bus stop bypasses (sometimes referred to as ‘floating bus stops’) where cycle lanes run behind bus stops was raised as a concern. The ability to cross cycle lanes safely from these bus stops is a significant challenge to many people particularly Londoners with sensory impairments.

 

Public toilets

The lack of well maintained, free-to-use and open public toilets can be a significant barrier to the ability of some people to stay away from home for significant lengths of time. Lack of access to toilets can be a barrier to socialising, visiting the shops and can lead people to reduce fluid intake which can result in dehydration.

 

Decreasing availability of toilets can present a specific challenge for people with health conditions such as type 2 diabetes which can increase the need to use the toilet more frequently. In many cases facilities exist but are locked, especially during the evening and early morning.

 

Seating and places to rest

Standing or walking for significant periods of time can prevent people from enjoying both the outdoor and indoor environment. Often the provision of benches and other seating can be insufficient or uncomfortable with no arm or back rests and some seating can be located in places with little shade or shelter from wind or rain.

 

Better pavements

Narrow, cluttered and poorly maintained pavements have a significant impact on older Londoners confidence to move comfortably and safely around their city. Older Londoners have highlighted a range of concerns such as cafe seating protruding on to narrow stretches of pavement, poorly located bins, items of street clutter and overhanging tree branches.

 

The prevalence of cycle rental schemes is a concern. Many schemes use non-docking bicycles that are frequently left ‘abandoned’ on pavements obstructing pathways and posing significant trip hazards. The fear of tripping and falling can increase isolation with people choosing to stay at home to avoid the danger.

 

Other concerns

Increasing station-to-station accessibility benefits all Londoners, but difficult journeys to get to and from stations can cause some older people to avoid public transport. The need for well designed, spacious areas outside station entrances and exits was also highlighted. Improving these spaces with clear signage and enough space to prevent congestion benefits everyone with their onward journeys.

 

The need to increase the number of dropped kerbs was highlighted as a change that could make street navigation easier for wheelchair users and other pedestrians for whom steep kerbs are a barrier. 

Pedestrian crossing points that have clear visual and audio countdown technology which allows sufficient time to cross the road helps ensure pedestrians feel safe. There is a need to raise awareness of accessible provision for people with some sensory impairments including tactile cones located on crossing signal boxes that spin to indicate when it is safe to cross.

 

Older Londoners lead positive change across London. Supporting citizen engagement including ‘street audit’ and walking schemes enable groups and individuals to assess the accessibility of streets and outdoor spaces and report concerns to London boroughs.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in the ‘London Plan, Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London’, 2019.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Making London’s outdoor spaces and buildings more age-friendly requires collaboration with a wide range of partners from across London.

 

Implementing the London Plan policies will require close partnership working with London boroughs, particularly planning officers and planning enforcement officers as well as pan-London bodies including London Councils.

 

Partners identified by older Londoners include the Metropolitan Police to help enforce the regulation of dangerous practice such as cycling on pavements and to work with boroughs to ensure public toilets are safe.

 

A range of businesses, public bodies and other partners should be engaged with in order to ensure more public toilets are available. Partners identified include the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, local NHS Trusts, Health and Wellbeing Boards, Public Health England, retailers, cafes and restaurants, the Federation of Small Businesses, faith organisations and their representative bodies.

 

Charities like Living Streets and pan-London bodies representing older people such as Positive Ageing in London were identified as partners that could support the involvement of older Londoners with activities such as street audits. Partners such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Transport for All, Inclusion London and Action on Hearing Loss are all partners that could be consulted on accessibility in the public realm. London Plus were identified as a partner that could support the involvement of the voluntary and community sector.

 

Trade Unions and local Members of Parliament were identified as partners that could campaign to make the public realm more age-friendly.

 

London’s parks have a vital role supporting active ageing and partners such as Royal Parks were identified as relevant partners. Across London, park management authorities are responsible for many of the capital’s green spaces with powers over seating, toilet provision, the condition of paths and the behaviour of park users including cyclists.

Transportation

Making transportation more age-friendly

Thousands of older workers, volunteers, carers and many others rely on London’s transport network to make their invaluable contribution to the capital. Achieving a more age-friendly transport network will reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing by increasing access to services and opportunities to participate in civic and social life.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Continue to make transport in London affordable for older Londoners

Older Londoners greatly value the current travel concessions, including the Freedom Pass and the 60+ London Oyster Photocard, available to them. London has the highest rate of pensioner poverty in England and concessions can be a lifeline for many older Londoners. Affordable travel contributes to tackling social isolation, enabling older Londoners on low incomes to visit friends, family and take part in social activities.

 

Bus journeys

After walking, taking the bus is the most frequent type of transport used by older Londoners and improving driver training would make a significant difference to their experience as passengers. Concerns raised by older Londoners include drivers stopping too far from the kerb, buses pulling away before passengers can sit down and inconsistencies around kneeling the bus to help passengers board safely.

 

Training courses where drivers can hear directly from older passengers and experiential activities, such as drivers being asked to board a crowded bus with a mobility aid, would help to improve their understanding of the barriers that exist for older Londoners.

 

Passenger behaviour can be another barrier to taking the bus. Being forced to stand on a crowded bus, when seats are not offered by those more able to stand, can be a significant obstacle to safe and comfortable travelling. This can limit the times of the day when people can travel, as some older people will avoid using the bus during busy times.

 

Improving communication and information

Improving the information available to help people plan and undertake journeys is a key priority. Improving the information available to help people plan and undertake journeys is a key priority. Improved and earlier information about potential barriers such as or out-of-service lifts would help people to choose alternative routes before they start their journey.

Improving communication for staff so that they have better information about when passengers in need of assistance will arrive at a station would improve passenger experience, particularly for people using the ‘Turn up and go’ service.

 

Clutter and obstructions on pavements

The need to address obstructions and clutter on pavements is another key priority. Overhanging branches, bins located where passengers alight buses, café seating blocking paths and rubbish sacks left well ahead of refuse collection times are some examples of pavement obstacles and clutter. These obstructions pose trip hazards for pedestrians and cause congestion on narrow parts of the pavement.

 

The danger of tripping on bicycles that have been left on the pavement is an increasing concern. The growing number of bicycle hire schemes that do not use designated docking or parking is a significant hazard for older Londoners with physical impairments. Sharing pavements with both e-scooters and mobility scooters is also a concern.

 

Other concerns

The availability of seating can have a significant impact on the ability to use train stations and change modes of transport comfortably. Inclusive seating and resting places should be incorporated into the design of new stations, interchanges and refurbishment projects. The distances required to walk between platforms or bus stops can be extremely tiring, particularly for passengers with luggage or carers pushing wheelchairs.

 

Upgrading to a network where the majority of stations are step-free is a long-term infrastructure challenge. In the short-term, priorities for improving step-free travel include the continuation of step-free maps (both online and as paper copies) and more detailed information about the additional time required to take the alternative step-free version of a journey.

 

The inadequate number of toilet facilities across the transport network is a key concern. It is common to find toilets that are locked, in poor condition or closed due to anti-social behaviour. It is also vital that more accessible toilets are available in addition to other standard toilet provision.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in the ‘Mayor’s Transport Strategy’, 2018 ‘Inclusive London – The Mayor’s equality, diversity and inclusion strategy’, 2018 and Transport for London’s ‘Walking Action Plan’, 2018.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Making transport on London more age-friendly requires collaboration with a wide range of partners from across London.

 

Network Rail have a key role in making rail infrastructure, including London’s main train stations, more age-friendly. It is important that Train operating Companies provide suitable assisted travel and passenger assistance services which meet the needs of older transport users. The Rail Delivery Group, developers of the Earlier Assistance smart phone app, have a key role to play here too.

 

Bus operators can help make bus journeys more age-friendly, whilst user-led organisations, such as Toynbee Hall and Real are ensuring the opinions and concerns of older passengers are listened to. The HCT Group, a social enterprise that run transport services, are also a potential partner.

 

Partners to work with across all transport modes include organisations such as Transport for All, Age UK London, Wheels for Wellbeing, Positive Ageing in London and London Travelwatch. The Independent Disability Advisory Group (IDAG) who advise Transport for London and the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers are also key partners to consult with.

 

Charity partners that focus on supporting people with specific impairments include London Vision and Action on Hearing Loss. Alzheimer’s UK have a significant role in improving staff training and making the network more dementia-friendly. Trade Unions also have an important role to ensure staff are safe and have training and support.

 

For strategic planning and enforcement London boroughs, the Department for Transport and the British Transport Police are important partners. The Highways Agency has a crucial role to play, whilst utility companies responsible for street works such as Thames Water are key partners to work with.

 

Charities and other expert bodies that could help advise on age-friendly street design include Living Streets, Sustrans and Urban Design London.

 

Civic, cultural and social participation

 Making London a city where all Londoners can participate

There is a strong connection between all forms of participation and good wellbeing. Participating in civic, cultural and social activities is vital to our sense of worth and feeling of belonging in the places we live. Barriers to participation can leave people socially isolated and vulnerable to the negative impacts of an inactive lifestyle.

 

London offers a huge range of opportunities to participate in its thriving cultural life and civil society. Unfortunately, these opportunities are not open to all. Facilities and infrastructure that are not age-friendly, prohibitive costs, events held at inaccessible times and poor communication are just some of the barriers that can stop older people from participating. We become more individual as we age and older Londoners hold a vast array of untapped interests, skills and experience, so they should have a broad range of social activities to participate in.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

The views of older Londoners should be heard with more civic participation opportunities to influence positive change

The best people to influence positive change for older people in London are older Londoners. However, opportunities for older Londoners to have their say, share their experiences and express their views can be inaccessible or feel ‘tokenistic’. As civic engagement moves from face-to-face opportunities to online-only platforms people that do not use the internet can be excluded from having their voices heard. It is also important that a diverse group of people can participate in opportunities and civic society has a duty to ensure wider representation from communities of older Londoners that might be underrepresented.

 

The methods used to share information about upcoming or current opportunities to influence change can be exclusive because the information only reaches a small group of people or is only shared through one communication channel. It is also crucial that older people are meaningfully involved from the start of planning and other decisions with ongoing dialogue throughout.

 

Good examples of including older Londoners in civic, cultural and social activities should be shared with and between boroughs

Funding cuts, a lack of infrastructure and location are some of the reasons why certain boroughs in London offer many more civic, cultural and social opportunities than others. Large cities like London tend to provide a large number of activities in the city centre, but far fewer on the city’s outskirts. Encouraging and supporting London’s local authorities to share age-friendly practice and to learn from one another is a key priority.

 

Support for volunteering and other community projects, so that they are more sustainable and can access longer-term funding

Older Londoners have raised the importance of longer-term support for community projects working with older Londoners. Many enormously valuable projects lack resources and can stop all together once grant funding has finished. The sudden closure of projects can mean that volunteers have to signpost beneficiaries to overstretched alternative services.

 

Volunteers are providing more and more services to older people with complex needs, but can lack the training or resources required to provide effective support.

 

Ensure older people can access cultural opportunities

The cultural interests of older people are as diverse, if not more so, than any other group. From attending an art class, acting in a play, performing in concerts or visiting museums; our cultural preferences are individual. Improving access to culture needs to consider the infrastructure of places and buildings, such as whether a venue might have step free access or an accessible toilet. Venues also need to consider how they can be more inclusive for older people with sensory impairments, learning disabilities and neurological conditions including dementias. Good transport connections are important and some venues in outer London boroughs are difficult to reach.

 

Many venues offer concessionary prices for older Londoners, but the cost of some activities can still exclude people on low incomes. It is also common for older people to miss out on cultural activities simply because it is difficult to find timely information about upcoming events and opportunities.

 

Other concerns

Along with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of others there are a vast number of benefits to volunteering. These include increasing confidence, gaining a sense of personal satisfaction, learning new skills and the opportunity to make friends. All older people that want to volunteer should be able to. Unfortunately, barriers to involvement, such as a lack of training support and in some cases age discrimination can mean older volunteers are excluded. Exploring approaches to ensure more older people can benefit from volunteering is crucial. Tackling barriers to exclusion should involve support for more voluntary organisations so they can provide an age-friendly environment. Inclusive practices such as simple application processes and offering expenses to pay for lunch should be encouraged.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in ‘All of Us – The Mayor’s Strategy for Social Integration’, 2018; ‘Inclusive London – Inclusive London – The Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, 2018’, ‘Culture for all Londoners – Mayor of London’s Culture Strategy’, 2018; ‘Sport for all of us – The Mayor’s Strategy for Sport and Physical Activity’, 2018.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

A wide range of partners have a role to play in making London a place where all older people have opportunities to participate fully in civic, cultural and social life.

 

London is fortunate to have a significant number of community arts organisations who can all support the inclusion of older Londoners in projects, activities and other social opportunities. Working with theatres and cinemas, so that they are more welcoming places, would improve the experience of older cinema and theatre-goers. Many museums and galleries are reviewing how they can make their exhibitions and facilities more age-friendly and this work must be rolled out and learning shared.

 

Leisure centres, sports clubs and community centres should also be involved in making small changes to ensure they provide an inclusive environment.

 

Ensuring that the voices of older people are heard means involving local groups and organisations representing older people including Older People’s Forums across London through the Greater London Forum for Older People and Positive Ageing in London.

 

Opportunities to participate in community projects and to volunteer should be as inclusive as possible. Working with the voluntary and community sector, including through volunteer centres, is therefore vital.

 

Employment and Skills

Making London more age-friendly for older workers and jobseekers

The paid work of older Londoners contributes significantly to the capital’s economy. Although the skills and experience of older workers is invaluable to employers across all sectors, age discrimination remains prevalent in many workplaces. Building positive attitudes towards retaining, recruiting and supporting older workers would benefits workers of all ages and their employers.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Champion the benefits of an older workforce

All too often an older workforce is presented as a challenge. Instead it should be an opportunity to be embraced. Ageist stereotypes are common across all sectors and the myth that older workers have less to contribute than their younger colleagues is widespread. As a result, there is a crucial need to work with employers to champion the benefits of an older workforce. A high proportion of older workers have the maturity, learned expertise, knowledge and confidence that employers should welcome. Compared with other regions of England London benefits disproportionally. Older Londoners are more diverse, well-educated and highly skilled in comparison to their peers in other regions and London’s employers across all sectors benefit from this.

 

Support older workers to progress in the labour market and stay in work for as long as they want to

Ensuring older Londoners have the support necessary to develop their career and to work for as long as they wish benefits both employers and employees. Accessing in-work training and development opportunities enables older workers to progress in their existing workplace or move to different sectors. Unfortunately, too many older workers face barriers to progression and are excluded from promotion and training opportunities. IT skills were not essential when many workers started their careers. Despite this, many employees are not supported to take up IT skills training or are not made aware of opportunities for training.

 

Encourage employers to be transparent about the age profile of the workforce (public bodies to set an example)

Age is rarely prominent in data published by employers about workforce diversity. Greater efforts need to be made to persuade employers to be transparent about their workforce age profile. An increase in the number of employers proactively publishing such data could influence others to follow and large public bodies can set a good example. Across all sectors the routine practice of publishing data about the age profile of staff might also encourage employers to assess and make changes to any HR or recruitment practices acting as barriers to improved representation.

 

More support for older jobseekers

The way people look for jobs has changed significantly in recent years. Fewer employers use printed newspapers to advertise jobs and many roles are only advertised online. It is vital that older jobseekers are supported to access and use job search websites as well as online platforms.

Other concerns

London has the highest cost of living in England and supporting older workers that are living on low incomes is a key concern. Changing jobs, moving to another sector or becoming self-employed during the latter part of a career will not always mean an increase in salary. Health concerns or caring responsibilities often result in the choice to work part time leading to a fall in household income. 

Promoting age-friendly workplaces that proactively support older workers was another priority. Insufficient support, discrimination and inflexible practices can lead many to feeling ‘pushed out’. Ensuring access to flexible working, promoting physical and mental wellbeing and support for employees who have caring responsibilities or are experiencing ill health has a positive impact on workers of all ages and is particularly important for older employees.

 

Tackling age discrimination and other barriers facing older workers requires a cultural change and incentivising age-friendly practice can be an important part of that process. Recognition or accreditation schemes that incentivise good practice as well as encouraging businesses to promote themselves to customers as age-friendly employers can enhance an employer’s reputation.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in the ‘Careers for Londoners Action Plan’, 2018; the ‘Inclusive London – The Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy’, 2018; and ‘Skills for Londoners – A Skills and Adult Education Strategy for London’, 2018, Skills for Londoners: A Call for Action, 2019.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Making London more age-friendly for older workers and jobseekers requires collaboration with a wide range of partners from across London.

 

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education are key partners for setting employment policy.

 

Key partners that support older jobseekers include specialist employment and recruitment agencies for older people including Wise Age and Skilled People. Professional bodies, such as the Recruitment and Employment Federation and the Institute of Recruitment Professionals, have a significant role to play in the development of more age-friendly recruitment practices.

 

Job Centres and libraries have a key role raising awareness about different job opportunities and the skills required to knowing where training is offered, as do organisations such as the Employment Related Services Association, Cities of Learning UK, Institutes of Learning and other bodies representing adult education providers.

 

Volunteering can provide an opportunity to develop essential skills for the labour market and London Plus, the capital’s volunteering charity and local Councils for Voluntary Services are key partners. Developing skills that enable career progression is vital for many older employees. Professional bodies that support best practice include the Chartered Institute of Professional Development and the Chartered Management Institute.

 

Organisations developing research on older workers in the labour market, such as Centre for Ageing Better, should be consulted.

 

Charities, Trade Unions and other organisations representing older Londoners also have a significant role in raising awareness about the experience of older workers and older jobseekers and calling for improvement. Key partners include the Greater London Forum for Older People, Positive Ageing in London, Age UK London, Age Platform UK, the National Pensioners Convention and the Civil Service Pensioners Alliance.

 

Health and Social Care

Supporting good health for older Londoners

No one’s health should suffer because of who they are, or where they live. Health inequalities are prevalent across London and too many older Londoners don’t feel supported to manage long-term conditions or poor mental health. Good quality, appropriate, and accessible health care is essential to an age-friendly city.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Include older Londoners in more projects promoting mental wellbeing

Good mental health is as important for older people as it is for any other age group. Many older Londoners grew up in a time when there were greater levels of stigma around mental ill health, which continues to remain undiagnosed for too many older Londoners. Living with long term physical health conditions; sensory impairments, such as hearing loss and neurological conditions, including dementias, can all increase the prevalence of developing mental ill health.

 

Promote healthy lifestyles

Poverty, isolation, poor mental health and a lack of education can impact diet and a significant minority of older Londoners are malnourished. Unaffordable housing costs can leave older people with little money for nutritious food after costs have been met. Along with promoting better diets there is a need for more interventions to address alcoholism, smoking and substance misuse amongst older people. The number of older Londoners living in homeless shelters or sleeping on the street is increasing and breaking alcoholism and homelessness, including street homelessness, amongst older Londoners is crucial.

 

Support active ageing

The importance of age-friendly streets to support people to walk more is vital to ensuring that more older Londoners are active and have sufficient exercise. Replacing damaged paving stones that could cause people to fall and removing obstacles would encourage more people to walk instead of staying at home or making a journey by car. Raising awareness of active lifestyle campaigns and targeting support at people with long term conditions is a key priority.

 

Promote wellbeing by championing social prescribing

The development of effective and sustainable social prescribing models could help tackle social isolation and its consequences, including poor physical and mental health.

Social prescribing enables staff, particularly those in the health and care sectors, to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services, including community groups, clubs, volunteering projects, learning opportunities and better information and advice.

The opportunities provided by social prescribing can have a significant beneficial impact for individuals and the community as a whole by fostering a sense of belonging, building social connections and promoting more active lifestyles.

 

Other concerns

The prevalence of dementia in London is believed to be underestimated and supporting older Londoners with dementia is key. Better staff training and more inclusive physical environments would make Londoners living with dementia feel more included and confident away from home.

 

Tackling air pollution was identified as a priority due to its disproportionate impact on older Londoners. Exposure to exhaust emissions and other forms of air pollution can leave people more prone to respiratory illness, lung cancer, heart disease as well as mental ill health and a range of other health conditions.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in the London Health Inequalities Strategy, 2018; The London Health Inequalities Strategy Implementation Plan; The London Food Strategy, 2018; London Environment Strategy, 2018.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Improving the health and wellbeing of older Londoners requires collaboration with a wide range of partners from across London.

 

Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care are crucial partners in efforts to support healthy ageing in London. Working with local NHS Trusts, including Mental Health Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (represented by the London-wide Clinical Commissioning Council) is vital.

 

The Mayor will also need to continue work with London boroughs in a range of areas as well as with charity partners, such as Alzheimer’s UK.

 

It is crucial to collaborate with patient voice groups, including local Healthwatch bodies, to ensure that the needs and concerns of older Londoners are central to health planning and implementation.

 

Communication and Information

Making communication and information in London more age-friendly

Without access to clear, timely and consistent information older Londoners can miss out on crucial services and face exclusion from a range of social, cultural, and civic opportunities. Barriers to accessing communication and information resources increases the risk of isolation and limits the ability of some older Londoners to stay connected with public services, friends and family.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Offline communication

Although digital literacy rates are at all-time high the need to maintain and improve offline communication remains vital for many older Londoners. Barriers to digital skills training and inaccessible technology are just some of the reasons why hard copy and spoken word communication is so important. Spoken word communication is essential for people with visual impairments and learning disabilities and face-to-face communication has additional benefits for social inclusion, increasing people’s sense of being respected and listened to.

 

Font size and type on documents and webpages must be large enough to read, and text should be written in plain English on a background that is accessible to people with visual impairments.

 

It can be difficult to speak to staff on the telephone with many ‘contact us’ webpages either ‘hiding’ details of contact telephone numbers or not offering them at all. Not only can this be frustrating, it can also prevent people from accessing the services they need. Receipt of many benefits increasingly requires online forms to be completed and the use of jargon can cause exclusion from basic entitlements.

 

Digital literacy
Despite many older Londoners having high levels of digital literacy there remains a risk that thousands of older Londoners will be excluded as more services become ‘digital by default’. Access to digital skills training that is based around practical needs has the potential to transform lives. Examples of useful digital ‘life skills’ include such areas as data privacy, avoiding online scams and online shopping. The idea of attending a long course can be daunting and training providers should consider offering more one-off sessions. The trainer has a crucial role and classes delivered by older trainers could encourage more people to continue their learning over a longer period.

 

Many libraries and community hubs provide welcoming environments for classes to take place, but it is also important to consider spaces such as cafes, to ensure classes reach the widest number of people possible.

 

It is also important that training providers should have strategies in place to effectively reach out to people that are less likely to find out about courses. Leaflets sent to sheltered housing scheme residents and using community notice boards at GP practices are examples of suitable ways to promote upcoming training sessions.

 

User-friendly online services

When new websites are developed the needs of all users must be taken into account from the start. The text used on websites can be written in a way that assumes people are already familiar with online terminology and the development and promotion of a simple glossary of web terminology would benefit older Londoners.

 

The lack of clarity around data protection can put people off from using the internet. Older Londoners have mentioned that they can often feel ‘tricked’ into submitting their details and signing up to receive marketing.

 

Other concerns

The internet provides significant civic engagement opportunities for London with online forums, social media, online consultations and other means to participate in online discussions. Where opportunities to ‘have your say’ are only offered online the views and opinions of all those that do not use the internet remain unheard.

 

Improving signage in outdoor spaces and public buildings is another concern. Signs and maps can be confusing or lack clear information, whilst amenities including public toilets can be poorly signed.

 

The importance of having English language classes which are suitable for older migrants who speak English as a second or third language is a concern. Older migrants with limited language skills are among the most isolated people and unable to access services that would support them to settle or are dependent on younger relatives to translate for them.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in the ‘Careers for Londoners Action Plan’, 2018; the ‘Inclusive London – The Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy’, 2018; and ‘Skills for Londoners – A Skills and Adult Education Strategy for London’, 2018; and the ‘Mayor’s Transport Strategy’, 2018.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Key partners to promote and support digital inclusion include London boroughs, the Chartered Institute of Libraries and Information Professionals, Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, the Association of Colleges, as well as the British Computer Society and their volunteer network.

 

Online resources that could be used to raise awareness of digital skills training and support learners included The Virtual U3A (VU3A), FutureLearn.com, Google’s Applied Digital Skills curriculum and community websites such as GransNet.com and NextDoor.com. Offline partners that could help promote upcoming digital skills training included the Post Office, GP Surgeries, community centres and faith groups.

 

The ‘W3C Mission’ (the World Wide Web Consortium) are a potential partner in the drive to make key websites more age-friendly with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recommended as a global leader in web user-testing models.

The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) was identified as a partner that could support London boroughs to innovate, share best practice to scale-up digital innovation across London’s public services. The charity Abilitynet, which organisers the Tech 4 Good Award could also make a key contribution.

 

Online service providers, such as Google, as well as mobile phone networks, such as Vodafone and O2, can do more to make their websites and customer support services easier to navigate.

 

The Information Design Association and the Sign Design Society along with charities representing disabled people, such as Transport for All and Inclusion London, were also identified as potential partners that could advise London boroughs, private companies and others on how to improve signage. Bodies and organisations representing the views of older Londoners such as the Greater London Forum for Older People should also be involved in the development of activities to improve communication.

Respect and Social Inclusion

Making London a city where older people are truly valued

Promoting positive attitudes towards age should involve everybody. Businesses, civil society, policy-makers and service providers must all ensure that the contributions and needs of older Londoners are at the heart of their work. Negative attitudes towards ageing can start at a young age and ageist stereotypes are often perpetuated in public debate with narratives around many subjects framed in the media as being about ‘younger vs older people’. Feeling valued is fundamental to our sense of self-worth, but the prevalence of conscious and unconscious ageism can mean that many older Londoners feel disrespected, patronised and excluded.

 

Older Londoners identified priorities for action in the following order of priority:

 

Champion the contribution of older Londoners and ensure that their contributions and needs are included in policy making

London would not be one of the world’s leading cities without the invaluable contribution of older Londoners. As leaders in the workplace older Londoners make a major contribution to the capital’s economy. As volunteers, carers, community leaders and active citizens, older people are often the first to offer support for others. Unfortunately, older people are more likely to feature in discussions around needs and services instead.

 

The views and experiences of older people should underpin all aspects of policy making, but all too often older people can be neglected in decisions. Policy and planning might emphasise other groups and there might be little, or even no, mention of older people.

 

Ensure that spaces and buildings are inclusive and social

Outdoor spaces and buildings where everyone feels welcome, comfortable and safe is fundamental to the experience of older Londoners. An environment that is difficult to navigate, unsafe or uncomfortable can prevent people from leaving their home and exacerbates social isolation. Plentiful and comfortable seating, the provision of public toilets, “walkable” pavements and good access to parks and green spaces are just some aspects of an age-friendly environment that would help to support social inclusion.

 

Encourage people from different generations to build social connections

Strong social connections can have a powerful impact on attitudes and behaviour. Unfortunately, public life can segregate people by age and many people can go for long periods of time without any meaningful social interaction with someone from a different generation. This lack of contact can cause misunderstandings, resentment and leave people feeling alienated from those around us.

 

Support older Londoners impacted by migration policies

Older people make up a significant proportion of London’s migrant communities. Many older Londoners, including people who have been settled in the UK for decades, are still impacted by migration policies. In recent years, older Londoners born as British ‘subjects’, particularly those born in countries in the Caribbean, who arrived in the UK during the 1950’s and 1960’s, have been denied legal rights, detained, threatened with deportation and in some cases even deported under government policy. These policies have left Londoners from the ‘Windrush generation’ feeling excluded in a country they have contributed to for decades. The stress caused to individuals by these policies can be acute, especially for people with existing health conditions.

 

The UK’s exit from the European Union has left older Londoners that are nationals of European Union countries facing uncertainty.  Under the EU Settlement Scheme older EU Londoners have to apply to continue to live in the UK and have access to healthcare, benefits and pensions. Without support many people will face challenges in applying for settled status. This is particularly the case for older Londoners without access to the internet.

 

Access to English language classes that are inclusive for older people is crucial. For recently arrived older migrants, especially people that have arrived in the UK to join family members, language barriers can be a significant cause of social isolation. Older Londoners who do not speak English as a first language can be excluded from essential services, the wider community and left dependant on family members for translation.

 

Other concerns

Inclusion in social prescribing projects can have a beneficial impact on the physical and mental health of socially excluded and isolated older people. Social prescribing is usually offered by health professionals to support people to access a wide range of non-clinical services in the community. Referral for support can be especially beneficial for people with long-term conditions; people that need support with their mental health, feel isolated or have complex needs.

 

GLA group actions

The GLA has actions that address the priority concerns in ‘All of Us – The Mayor’s Strategy for Social Integration’, 2018; ‘Inclusive London – Inclusive London – The Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, 2018’, ‘London Housing Strategy’, 2018 and the ‘London Health Inequalities Strategy’, 2018.

 

Age-friendly partners from across London

Making London a place where all older people are included and respected requires support and collaboration from a wide range of partners. Ensuring that the voices of older people are heard means involving those local groups and organisations that represent older people. Older People’s Forums across London are all potential partners that can be engaged with through the Greater London Forum for Older People.

London boroughs are key partners to ensure that the contributions and needs of older Londoners are included in local decision-making. Facilitating learning between boroughs is important so London Councils should have a pivotal role.

Making London’s environment truly inclusive should see the involvement of organisations promoting good practice in inclusive design such as Urban Design London.

 

Older Londoner’s are as diverse as any other age group and working with organisations that focus their support on particular groups is essential in an age-friendly city. Alzheimer’s UK are a crucial partner to work with to make London more dementia-friendly whilst Opening Doors London have a key role because of their work supporting older LGBT+ Londoners.

 

Building social connections, respect and understanding between generations should involve partnerships with schools and intergenerational projects.

 

Partnership with organisations providing direct support is also vital. This should include working with the network of local Age UK charities in London as well as Age UK London. Effective collaboration with other charities and organisations tackling social isolation such as Compassionate Neighbours is also necessary.

It is important to look at examples of good inclusive practice outside London which should involve work with other age-friendly cities, including the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub.

 

Suggested next Steps

 

  • Domain leads to liaise with key partners on actions to make the city more age-friendly based on the evidence of how age friendly the city is[5] and the priorities of its older citizens.
  • The Health and Social Care domain lead to work with Public Health England, who have offered to co-ordinate and collate partner actions for this domain.[6]
  • The Forum to collate partner actions into an age-friendly London action plan.[7]

Appendix A
Priorities by domain in table format

Domain

Order of priority (decided by older Londoners)

Priorities

Housing

1st

Support older Londoners to live well and safely in their existing homes with better access to aids and adaptations

 

2nd

Reduce the number of older Londoners living in unsafe conditions

 

3rd

Support older private renters

 

4th

Ensure the views of older residents are heard in housing decision making (including community led housing initiatives)

 

5th

Tackle fuel poverty

6th

Improve access to affordable

7th

Increase access to specialist housing

8th

Ensure all homes are accessible for all

   

Outdoor spaces and buildings

1st

Sharing spaces with cyclists

2nd

Better toilet provision

3rd

Seating and places to rest

4th

Better pavements

5th

Spaces outside station exits and entrances

6th

More manageable kerb heights and more dropped kerbs

7th

Pedestrian crossing points

8th

Supporting the role of older Londoners  in improving outdoor spaces

   

Transportation

1st

Continue to make transport in London affordable for older Londoners

2nd

Bus journeys

3rd

Improving communication and information

4th

Clutter and obstructions on pavements

5th

Seating and resting places

6th

Improving step-free access

7th

Better toilet provision on the transport network

   

Civic, cultural and social participation

1st

The views of older Londoners should be heard with more civic participation opportunities to influence positive change

 

2nd

Good examples of including older Londoners in civic, cultural and social activities should be shared with and between boroughs

 

3rd

Support for volunteering and other community projects, so that they are more sustainable and can access longer-term funding

 

4th

Ensure older people can access cultural opportunities

 

6th

Explore approaches to ensure more older people can benefit from volunteering

   

Employment and skills

1st

Champion the benefits of an older workforce

2nd

Support older workers to progress in the labour market and stay in work for as long as they want to

 

3rd

Encourage employers to be transparent about the age profile of the workforce (public bodies to set an example)

 

4th

More support for older jobseekers

 

5th

Support older workers living on low incomes

6th

Promote age-friendly workplaces

7th

Incentivise age-friendly practice

   

Health and social care

1st

Include older Londoners in more projects promoting mental wellbeing

 

2nd

Promote healthy lifestyles

3rd

Support active ageing

4th

Promote wellbeing by championing social prescribing

 

5th

Support older Londoners with dementia

6th

Tackle air pollution

   

Communication and information

1st

Support offline communication

2nd

Support digital literacy

3rd

Make online services user-friendly

4th

Inclusion in online civic engagement opportunities

5th

Improve signage

6th

Make English classed for older migrants age-friendly

 

 

 

Respect and social inclusion

1st

Champion the contribution of older Londoners and ensure that their contributions and needs are included in policy making

 

2nd

Ensure that spaces and buildings are inclusive and social

 

3rd

Encourage people from different generations to build social connections

 

4th

Support older Londoners impacted by migration policies

 

5th

Include older people in social prescribing projects

[1] This is available for personal use on request from Sue Johnson, sue.johnson@london.gov.uk

[2] The Mayor’s Older Londoners Stakeholder Network is a three-tier structure. The top tier are the two people appointed as ‘older people’s experts’ to the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group. The second tier is the London Stake Olders Group (LSOG). Members of this group are representatives of older Londoners’ organisations who operate on a pan-London basis. The two older people ‘experts’ on the Advisory Group are co-chairs of LSOG and the Network. LSOG informed and supported the organisation on the conference.

[3] One workshop held on 20 January combined both the Respect and Social Inclusion domain and the Civic, Cultural and Social Participation domain.

[4] The group includes the GLA itself, London Fire Commissioner, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Transport for London and two development corporations (the London Legacy Development Corporation and Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation).

[5] Requests for evidence and data can be made to Sue Johnson, sue.johnson@london.gov.uk

[6] Sue will broker this.

[7] Most organisations, including the GLA are going through a process of reassessing their programmes and priorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and their economic situation. LAFF is inviting leads and previously involved age representatives and experts to meet to ret-start this process.

Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

  • Currently, retail use of signage/tables and chairs is hazardous to wheelchair users when trying to navigate pavements
  • Ensure more accessible public toilets including some for severely disabled people
  • Extend the Community Toilet Scheme which exists in Lewisham and Kilburn, where cafes and shops make their toilets available to non-customers
  • Provide resting places for pedestrians (seats and/or upper-body support)
  • Increase the number of dropped kerbs on pavements to allow wheelchair access
  • Cyclists and Pedestrians to have separate, safe lanes/paths

Transport

Accessible transport, free of charge for seniors, is key to an age-friendly city to enable older people to get out and about, participate, contribute, access services and reduce social isolation.

Good practice: Buses that can be lowered at stops, Indicator boards at bus stops, The freedom pass!

Policy Calls:

  • Currently, retail use of signage/tables and chairs is hazardous to wheelchair users when trying to navigate pavements
  • Reassurance that the Freedom pass will continue
  • Improved access for travellers with disabilities including: Disabled access to be available at all underground stations, More awareness of support for travellers with disabilities e.g. ‘Please give me a seat’ badge, Green Flag
  • Ongoing training for transport staff in supporting travellers with disabilities and enforcing rules e.g. wheelchair users to take priority over buggies on buses
  • Promote considerate bus-driving: stopping close to kerb, smooth driving, allowing passengers to be seated before moving off
  • TfL to provide cohesive info which includes community transport
  • Stop cuts to public transport
  • Invite GLA/Tfl heads to experience travel on the tube/buses and the Overground, and look at cycle lanes

Housing


  • More co-housing needed
  • Smaller affordable homes to enable people to downsize within their own community
  • More help for adaptations in the home to enable people to remain in their own homes for longer
  • There is a need for intergenerational housing to encourage diversity
  • It is important to ensure that boroughs cooperate and act especially around more affordable housing and housing accessibility (The London Plan will have a role here)

Social and Community Participation


  • Ensure that the GLA and Mayor set up in partnership with Pail and other older Londoners representative bodies governance structures which give older Londoners a voice- such as an Older People’s London parliament (drawing on best practice from Manchester and elsewhere)
  • Ensure that the process of Making London Age Friendly is an ongoing partnership involving older Londoners throughout the process, including being represented on working groups around the 8 domains
  • Appoint a Deputy Mayor for Older People as a separate entity and have the formal endorsement of the Mayor for the Age Friendly City programme
  • Have adequate GLA resources available to support the work of the age fora and the age networks to be able to play an ongoing full partnership with the GLA in making London age friendly
  • Provide funding for befriending projects
  • Invite clubs and organisations to be involved in citizen led projects – to overcome challenges, inspire and motivate
  • Invite a culture of openness and value experience
  • Concessions for disabled people AND their carers for cultural events
  • Involve older people within communities to help reduce their social isolation

Respect and Social Inclusion


  • Less segregated housing and more mixed community spaces
  • People need to meet each other and see different lifestyles
  • Intergenerational pairing in schools, places of faith, and community centres
  • Mentoring – to break down preconceived stigma – old to young, young to old
  • Tackle Stealth Discrimination – unconscious prejudices
  • The GLA Publication ? ‘Inclusive London’ should have more representation of older people
  • Address the general lack of patience with old people in society
  • Society should give more value to ALL people
  • London to be inclusive & comply with accessibility standards, making people feel welcome
  • Look at addressing Intersectionality – BAME /LGBT/women/disabled people etc. are at an increased risk of being marginalised as they grow older
  • Look at greater integration in general

Civic Participation and Employment


Good practice: German model (Flexible Support Fund) where the 50+ are given long term focussed support, and active job matching, to get them into work. This scheme has a 50% success rate

  • It was agreed that more of an emphasis on the work and health of older Londoners should be prioritised
  • PAiL will continue to raise awareness of keeping older people skilled and educated
  • Older workers should get further high-level training for continuing professional development
  • Encourage older people to act as mentors for the 40-50 age bracket, to pass on their skills and harness their expertise in effective practice
  • Learning reviews to be carried out at key points throughout life e.g. 25, 50 and 75 years of age
  • Provide intergenerational learning opportunities for the benefit of all age groups
  • Life-long Learning support to be centrally funded
  • The benefits of recruiting, retaining and retraining older working people as core workers to be promoted
  • The knowledge, experience, commitment and skills of older Londoners to make up the shortfall
  • After Brexit in core public services
  • Vocational training /apprenticeships to be available for the 50+
  • Self-employment/business start-up training opportunities
  • Landlords with empty commercial/industrial premises to be encouraged to make their properties available at favourable rates to start ups
  • The Mayor should lead by example and publish annually the data for TfL and GLA on the numbers of staff in work, being recruited, and made redundant – defined by age group
  • Conduct further research involving the Mayor, GLA, DWP, the community and voluntary sector, Employer and Trade Unions as to employers? current and future needs, including the SME sector – what are the skill shortages and train in those areas, particularly in the information and automation sectors
  • Phase out zero hours employment contracts
  • Training/support for self employed

Communication and Information


Good practice: E-senior schemes – digital learning scheme, Pass it On, AgeUK Techy Parties, Access via Chatbox

Policy Calls: Public Information must genuinely reflect reality – it’s often based on selected groups and not on society as a whole. Some people are unable to get out/or get online to voice an opinion Publicise – not everyone knows about the work being done and the difficulties people face

  • Libraries must be kept open – for information, computer training and social interaction
  • GLA Benchmark/tool kit of support/education services to be delivered by local authorities
Widening access to IT
  •  Digital technology benefits society but will excluded many – ensure new technology accessible to all including those who are housebound. Promote IT awareness /benefits training
  • Provide alternatives (print, telephone), as well as assistance from real people
  • Wifi to be more widely available and greater access to digital traininG
  • Make use of existing public spaces, like libraries/GP surgeries for IT
  • Training on online safety and use of social media
  • Availability of free/reduced cost of reconditioned PCs, smart phones
  • Co-design/co-development of new digital services to include older people
  • Strengthen the community by having competent people teaching the not so able
  • Information on events and activities – Look at how/where events are advertised and should that be modified in some circumstances?
  • GLA website could be simplified
  • Guarantee the continuation of free TV licences for the over 75s

Community Support and Health Services


  • Support initiatives to help older people stay mentally and physically healthy
  • Support older people to live independently
  • Include older people and their representatives in bodies set up to improve health, social care and public health
  • Continue the process of integrating health and social care for example to ensure support is available to ensure smooth discharge from hospital
  • Engaging, advocating and promoting older people in London
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