The Institute of Ageing and Health works alongside other organisations to raise issues facing older people in our society.
This year we are supporting the Royal College of Nursing’s Local Learning Event Programme in the West Midlands to help educate nursing staff around this important agenda. Click here for the programme of events.
We are sorry to announce that this conference has been postponed.
Given the importance and current national focus on good discharge arrangement for older people we would still like to run the event in March 2018. We will update you as soon as a date has been agreed.
Half day events for 2018
In addition to the conference next year, we are planning to run a further two half day events:
Please save these dates in your diaries and we will post further details as and when they are confirmed.
The Institute of Ageing and Health are delighted that Theresa May appointed Tracey Crouch as the UK’s first minister for loneliness, recognising the importance of this issue. Last year I wrote a blog on the effects of feeling lonely, alone or isolated. Loneliness is associated with increased health risks and can be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or as dangerous as obesity and it can increase the chances of early death by as much as 26%. Recent publications suggest that more than nine million adults across all age ranges in the UK are either always or often lonely with 35% of men feeling lonely at least once a week. People living with dementia are at risk of loneliness in fact, people living with dementia tend to be lonelier than the population as a whole and a survey by the Alzheimer’s Society found 62% of people living with dementia who live alone feel lonely and 38% of all people with dementia felt lonely.
The Jo Cox Commission on loneliness was created as a response to the MP's own experience of isolation. "This is an issue that Jo cared passionately about and we will honour her memory by tackling it, helping the millions of people across the UK who suffer from loneliness," Crouch said in a statement. We will watch with interest the developments from Tracey Crouch going forward.
Dr Ruth Pearce (Deputy Chair IAH)
The IAH invites papers for its journal 'Ageing & Health'. Contributions to Ageing & Health enable us to share research, reflections and stories to help improve ageing and health in the West Midlands; we are looking for articles that present views and perspectives from a wide variety of disciplines related to health and ageing.
The success of modern medicine has resulted in many people surviving strokes, heart attacks and cancer when previously they would have died prematurely. This has resulted in an ageing population. With this changing demographic comes the challenge of how to achieve healthy ageing. Sadly many older people are not achieving this, and the numbers of older people living with frailty are rising. People living with frailty often have multiple chronic illnesses, weak muscles, poor mobility, exhaustion and are dependent on others for their care (Clegg, 2013). They are the main users of heath and social care and have high mortality (Shamliyan, 2013). Decisions around care choices are often complex, particularly where patients have dementia or are coming to the end of life. Choices must take into account patient preferences as well as what is achievable and sensible to maintain a good quality of life.
Sue Lillyman, IAH Trustee
Although there is evidence of good care and some equality for older people we still hear accounts in the media about how they continue to experience social exclusion, marginalisation and oppression at an international level. These are often, (according to Duffy et al 2012), due to the negative stereotypical views of older people that are prevalent in society. Dabove in 2013 called for an international convention on human rights for older people. Whilst she questions whether older people should have different rights she suggests that there is a need for a convention with more consistence to the tools and institutions, principles, rules laws and judicial practices that are accessed and available to the older person. She highlights the issues of capacity, empowerment, freedom, civil rights, integrity and health, abuse, property rights, legal issues, social rights and security and access to justice. In October this year the All Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People in the UK launched a major new inquiry into human rights of older people. This aims to improve the protection of rights of older people with an international legally binding agreement addressing the issues raised above. These changes have already been achieved for people with disabilities through the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and for children with a further Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is now timely for there to be an additional one for older people.
Lesley Bainbridge, Lead Nurse Care Home Vanguard Programme, Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group,
Watching the Invictus Games last week prompted me to draw parallels between sudden onset disability and that associated with old age. While watching I was reminded of two patients I’d cared for over a decade ago whose problems in old age were attributed to the trauma of war. Working as a nurse specialist for older people in a community intermediate care team both men were referred by their GPs for further assessment.
What led to the ‘diagnosis’ of war trauma was comprehensive geriatric assessment [CGA] and the fact that I worked in a multidisciplinary [MDT] team that meant my patients were speedily referred to others when necessary. CGA is the best evidence base we have for providing care for older people with complex needs and it is well accepted that those that have access to MDTs do best.
CGA considers the whole person, covering 5 domains of their life including medical, social, mental health, environmental and functional. It allows us to gather information about usual and present state to identify problems and draw up a care plan to address each issue in turn in order to optimise overall health and wellbeing.