NEWS:

Press Release

For Immediate Release

5 December 2016

Think Tank urges action to improve uptake of Shingles Vaccine among older people

Responding to the news of falls in uptake of the shingles vaccination, the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) has urged a change to its eligibility guidelines.

Public Health England has reported a decline in the uptake of the Shingles vaccination in both the routine (70 year old) and catch up (78 years old) cohorts (from 61.8% in 2013/14 to 54.9% in 2015/16 and from 57.8% in 2014/15 to 55.5% in 2015/16, respectively).

In 2013, ILC-UK published “Immune Response”, calling for a lifecourse approach to immunisation and making 30 plus recommendations for policy action.

In 2015, ILC-UK launched a European Adult Immunisation Hub, which seeks to provide information and news about adult immunisation across Europe.

David Sinclair, Director, ILC-UK and Editor of the European Adult Immunisation Hub said:

“Vaccination is not just for kids. In an ageing society we need a much greater focus on improving awareness and uptake of vaccination among adults.

Anything we can do to reduce likelihood of pain is of huge importance in old age, with 6 in 10 people in their mid-70s suffering from pain.

Shingles can be a significant cause of pain in old age and vaccination is an effective way of reducing the likelihood that we will suffer from it. We must ensure that older people eligible for the Shingles vaccination take up their right to receive it.

Some parts of the country have very low coverage of the Shingles vaccine among eligible people. It is important that Public Health England and the Department of Health work to ensure that we don’t see emerging a postcode lottery in access to the vaccine.

The complexity of the age of eligibility guidelines for shingles will no doubt be hampering the ability to communicate uptake to relevant individuals. Perhaps now is the time to extend eligibility to everyone between 70 and 80, after all, all of these people are at risk and would benefit from vaccination.”

Details of who is eligible for a shingles vaccine are available here: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-can-have-the-shingles-vaccine.aspx

See the European Adult Immunisation Website for more information about the latest figures for Shingles uptake: http://www.adultimmunisation.eu/shinglesherpes-zoster/shingles-vaccination-uptake-falls-england/

Contact

David Eaton (davideaton@ilcuk.org.uk) 02073400440 or 07851042609

Notes

The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is a futures organisation focussed on some of the biggest challenges facing Government and society in the context of demographic change.


The European Adult Immunisation Hub is available at: http://www.adultimmunisation.eu/.


The Rt Hon. Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the NHS Confederation and former Secretary of State for Health and former Chair of the Health Select Committee, and Dwayne Johnson, Director of Adult Social Care, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council have agreed to join our fantastic list of speakers at the Future of Ageing conference.

Dr Margaret McCartney, GP, author and regular contributor on Radio 4’s Inside Health, will also present at the conference. Dr Islene Araujo de Carvalho of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organisation will also focus on health and care issues, taking a more global perspective.

Conference attendees will also hear from:

  • John Cridland CBE, Head of the Independent State Pension Age Review
  • John Pullinger CB, National Statistician, UK Statistics Authority
  • Professor Sarah Harper, Director, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
  • Linda Woodall, Director of Life Insurance and Financial Advice, and sponsor of the Ageing Population project, Financial Conduct Authority
  • Jonathan Stevens, Senior Vice President, Thought Leadership, AARP
  • David Sinclair, Director, International Longevity Centre - UK
  • The Rt Hon. the Lord Carey of Clifton, Archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2001

Join as at the Future of Ageing Conference on Wednesday, 9th November. Our Earlybird prices must end on 31st August, so sign up now to take advantage of this special discounted rate.

 

Press Release

Embargo: 00:01 Saturday 12 December 2015

The end of formal adult social care?

  • UK heading towards the bottom of OECD league table for spending on care as proportion of GDP.
  • Local authorities with the highest concentration of older people and with highest reliance on unpaid informal caring will perversely be able to raise least from the Council Tax Precept announced in the Spending Review.
  • Lack of investment will lead to growing reliance on informal carers with significant economic and social implications.

Detailed analysis of the social care funding measures outlined in the Spending Review reveals a bleak future for older people needing care.

The new research published by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) Centre for Later Life Funding and supported by Age UK, reveals:

  • Approximately 1.86 million people over the age of 50 in England (1 in 10) have unmet care needs – an increase of 120,000 people (or 7%) since 2008/9.
  • Data from 326 local authorities shows that the councils with the highest concentration of older people and unpaid carers will be the ones that will bring in the least amount of money from the 2% council tax precept.
  • There are approximately 4.3 million people aged 50+ in England who are living alone (that’s roughly 1 in 5 middle aged and older people living on their own).

ILC-UK point out that even if the Spending Review announcements bring £3.5bn into adult social care, a scenario they describe as “highly unlikely”, this will still only mean that spending on care returns to 2015 levels by the end of the Parliament. This level of funding would imply an overall fall in expenditure on care as a proportion of GDP putting us firmly towards the bottom end of the OECD league table.


The think tank argues that the low level of funding offered is likely to result in a polarisation of care – private formal care for those that can afford it, rising reliance on informal carers and increasing unmet needs for those that can’t.

The end of formal adult social care” points out that the numbers accessing care services have fallen by half a million since 2008/9 (a drop of 30%) despite a growing ageing population. The number of over 80s have risen by 800,000 in the last decade. The provocation notes that there are already around 1.5 million people providing over 50 hours per week of unpaid care and that without investment the need for informal care will increase.


ILC-UK highlight that increasing pressures on unpaid carers will have a significant economic impact, preventing more people from continuing in work. They argue that the UK does not have the required infrastructure to move to a model of care that relies so heavily on family and community support and that if this were to happen, significant extra investment would be needed. Without greater support, both financial and in terms of more formal care support, greater unpaid caring could risk an erosion in the quality of care provided.  


Ben Franklin, Head of Economics of an Ageing society at ILC-UK warned:

“The future for adult social care looks bleak.


The social care settlement will be insufficient to meet the growing care needs of an ageing population and does little more than paper over the cracks which many of those who are in need of care are already falling through.

While some will be able to rely on family to support their needs, increased prevalence of unpaid caring may have adverse consequences for those providing support, for the economy as a whole due to reduced employment, and without additional investment may even lead to an erosion in the quality of care provided.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK said:


"This report reinforces the consensus among experts that the measures the Government ‎announced in the Spending Review will not be enough to arrest the further decline of social care in this country.


"As such it is a wake-up call for the public, women especially, because they make up most family carers. Over the last twenty years the need to provide a system of childcare has been‎ first recognised and then at least partially met, in order to enable more women to work and support decent family incomes. Now many of those same women, or sometimes their mothers, could find they have to leave work to care for their own ageing parents, because we are effectively dismantling our system of social care. This is the wrong political and economic choice and it will hurt older people and their families."

Notes


On Saturday 12th December, the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), will publish its analysis of the implications of the 2015 Autumn Spending Review on adult social care. (www.ilcuk.org.uk)


The provocation, “the end of formal adult social care” was supported by Age UK.


ILC-UK is the country’s leading think tank impacting policy on longevity, ageing and population change.


This report is the second publication from The Centre for Later Life Funding, which in turn, sits under the guise of the ILC-UK. The Centre is, in part, a continuation of its predecessor body the Care Funding Advice Network (CFAN) – a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to improve on the Care Act’s recognition of the need for financial advice.


The Centre represents a significant expansion in terms of scope and output to include policy briefings and research papers, which consider not just questions about care funding but questions about funding retirement more broadly. And critically, it is focused on developing ideas and solutions to these questions. We think that the artificial separation of retirement funding from care funding is unhelpful given that long-term care can be one of the biggest costs that people face during their retirement years.


Contact


David Eaton (davideaton@ilcuk.org.uk) or David Sinclair (davidsinclair@ilcuk.org.uk). 02073400440 or 07531164886.


If you do not wish to receive future press notices from ILC-UK, please respond with “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject header.

Rethinking Cancer, a new report by the International Longevity Centre- UK (ILC-UK) quantifies the cost of cancer to the UK economy, its families and its communities. The independent report, supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb*, presents research on the economic and societal impact of cancer.

The report considers the wider cost of cancer alongside the 160,000 deaths it causes each year in the UK.

Key findings:

  • In a single year over 50,000 people of working age lose their lives to the disease and in 2014 these people could have contributed £585 million to the UK economy.
  • The 1.8 million people living with and beyond cancer in the UK contribute approximately £6.9 billion to the UK economy each year through paid employment.
  • The wider societal contributions of cancer survivors are significant and have been valued at £15.2 billion per year. This includes providing hours of informal care to others, along with voluntary and domestic work.

‘Rethinking Cancer’ outlines the changes required to increase survivorship and better support those living with and beyond cancer, their employers, families, friends and relatives.

Increase survival rates
The report reveals that the gap in cancer survival rates between England and the European average has remained at around 10% for the last two decades. ILC-UK calculate that closing the gap would contribute £117 million to the UK economy.

Support Cancer Survivors
Rethinking Cancer finds that if employment rates for cancer survivors were the same as for the rest of the population cancer survivors would contribute an additional £4 billion to the UK economy each year.

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said: “Government and health professionals have a moral obligation to continue to improve cancer survival rates and better support cancer survivors. ‘Rethinking Cancer’ also highlights the economic imperative for action. It is vital that the Government’s vision to improve cancer outcomes through better prevention; swifter diagnosis; and better treatment, care and aftercare, is delivered. It is also important that we ensure that cancer patients receive support which can help them gain confidence in returning to employment.”


*Bristol-Myers Squibb provided financial sponsorship to cover the costs of producing the report. The company had no input to the report and ILC-UK retained full editorial control.

- New report points to link between ‘extra care housing’ and reduced loneliness levels
- Research also finds that those in ‘extra care housing’ feel a high degree of control over their lives

A new report from the ILC-UK has found that residential housing with flexible care provision (extra care) can have a major impact in promoting residents’ quality of life and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The report, funded by Audley Retirement and Bupa, surveyed residents of retirement villages on quality of life and used a statistical technique to compare the results with a group living in the community. This striking research revealed that village living can promote greater independence and provide greater choice in planning for later life than would otherwise be available. The research shows that the communal environment has the potential to reduce social isolation, particularly for residents who move from more rural or remote homes.

The average person in a retirement village experiences half the amount of loneliness (12.17%) than those in the community (22.83%). Nearly two thirds of respondents living in retirement villages (64.2%) could be classified as not at all lonely, and over four out of five (81.7%) said they hardly ever or never felt isolated. Over half (54.7%) often felt in tune with those around them, and nearly four in five (79.1%) hardly ever or never felt left out.

People living in this type of accommodation also reported a strong sense of control over their daily lives, nearly 10% higher than those living in the community. Control is a crucial component of quality of life measurement . They also felt secure in their homes, with 97% of respondents agreeing that they felt safe where they lived. Both of these findings were assessed using recognised quality of life measures . 

The UK is faced with an ageing population which, the ILC-UK warns, is going to become increasingly difficult to support. It is projected that in 20 years’ time, the number of people aged 85 and over will be almost two and a half times larger than in 2010 . As well as having an emotional impact, loneliness can also present physical health implications; research has shown that loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults , and even present people with a 64% greater risk of dementia . There are currently 800,000 people in England who are chronically lonely  which, if left to increase in line with the population, could create a large burden on the NHS.

The research calls on the government to:

  • Identify ways of working with the private sector to stimulate the building of new good quality retirement housing.
  • Encourage people in early older age to consider making such a move.
  • In light of the new pensions freedoms, consider offering information and advice on such housing opportunities to people who make enquiries into how to manage their retirement finances.

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK commented: “This research helps confirm that good housing is good for us. Communal living commonly found in extra care and retirement villages seems to positive impact on loneliness, with very few respondents to our research saying they felt a high degree of loneliness or isolation. New and innovative models for providing social care are crucial to address rising costs for care in an aging society. But we simply aren’t building enough aspirational housing for old age. Government must ensure that planning supports the development and promotion of alternative models of housing with care.”

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Retirement Villages commented: “We have long known that retirement villages offering extra care have a positive impact on those living in them. No one wants to be in a care home, and very few should need to go down that route. The ILC report corroborates our belief that the quality of life in extra care accommodation far exceeds what is possible in a care home.

“Extra care housing offers people the opportunity to live in a community of like-minded individuals, whilst remaining in their own home and retaining their independence. We were particularly pleased to see the ILC report reveal that residents feel a greater sense of control, and importantly a sense of community. Living in the right accommodation, with flexible care give our owners the opportunity to live their lives as they choose, on their own terms.

“We are faced with a growing older population, and this generation are more ambitious and active than ever. It’s crucial that there is a better supply of good quality housing that meets their changing needs. Extra care is a seemingly simple concept, but government, business and society urgently needs to accelerate the provision of alternatives to current solutions; alternatives like extra care housing that can help give older people what they need and want, as well as help the NHS avoid a care crisis.”

Paddy Brice, Managing Director, of Richmond Care Villages, which is part of Bupa, said:
“The report reflects our knowledge that retirement villages are a great way for people to maintain their independence and enjoy an active social life, with the confidence that support is on hand if needed.

“Our villagers frequently tell us they wish they’d made the move earlier. We are currently building two new villages as part of Bupa’s investment in new products and services for older people.  Care villages are clearly meeting a big demand for this style of living as the apartments are being snapped up before we have even finished building them.”

On the 24th November 2015, ILC-UK will be holding a day conference on ‘The Future of Ageing’. We will paint a picture of the future of ageing and explore the challenges and opportunities ahead.Through our unique lifecourse focus we will explore the potential impact of ageing not just on today’s older population, but also on tomorrow’s.

Register to attend the conference here.

We invite organisations to be involved in this event through various promotional opportunities, from exhibition space on the day and advertising space in the event programme to publicity and free delegate spaces.

During the conference, we will focus on five key areas: The future challenges and opportunities of health and care in an ageing society; The future of retirement income: Wealthy pensioners or persistent poverty?; The future of our economy in an ageing society: Adapting our economy to ageing?; The future of our built environment in an ageing society; and The future of ageing research.

We are delighted to confirm that Professor Sir Mark Walport (Government Chief Scientific Adviser [GCSA] and Head of the Government Office for Science), David Willetts (Executive Chair at Resolution Foundation, and former Minister of State [Department for Business, Innovation and Skills]), Lord Filkin (Chair of the Centre for Ageing Better and Chair of the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change) and Paul Johnson (Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies) will be speaking at the conference.

Promotional Packages are included the below table. However, we would be very happy to speak with organisations to put together a package that suits your requirements and budget.

To receive a full Promotional Opportunities brochure, or to discuss these opportunities in more detail, please contact Lyndsey Mitchell, Office and Events Manager at ILC-UK, on events@ilcuk.org.uk or 0207 340 0440.

  • Think tank urges continued focus on preventing ill health as research highlights that ill health and inactivity is not inevitable.
  • Age UK announce plans for annual “Greengross Lecture”

A new factpack published today by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) (1) illustrates the realities of living to 80 for the 367,000 people reaching the milestone age this year.

Inspired by ILC-UK Chief Executive and founder, Baroness Sally Greengross, who turned 80 on the 29th of June this year, 80 at Eighty (2) gives 80 facts about life in your 9th decade.

Across the world, the number of people aged 80 plus has increased from 15 million (1950) to 110 million (2011). By 2050 the number aged over 80 is estimated to reach 400 million.

This factpack incorporates new analysis by ILC-UK of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing by ILC-UK. 80 at Eighty reveals:

Many English 80 year olds remain very active…

  • In England over 16,000 people aged 80+ are still in paid employment.
  • People aged 80+ may be more satisfied with their sex lives, as 67.9% report the frequency to be about right, in contrast to 54.5% of those aged 50-64.
  • More than half (55%) of men aged 80+ are married (or in a civil partnership) vs. 21% of women.

But health problems are common…

  • Around 16% of those aged 80-84 have already survived a heart attack.
  • 49% of women and 38% of men aged 80+ are often troubled with physical pain.
  • 50.8% of men and 56.7% of women aged 80 and over report having a limiting long standing illness.
  • Over one in ten of those aged 80-84 have some kind of dementia

Alongside Baroness Greengross, Julie Andrews, the Dalai Lama, Woody Allen and Norman Foster turn 80 this year. Elvis would have been 80 this year.

80 at Eighty was launched at a reception hosted by Age UK this week. During the reception, Age UK announced plans for the introduction of an annual “Greengross” lecture.

Baroness Altmann CBE, Minister of State for Pensions said
“I welcome this year’s edition of the Factpack, building as it does on the high quality research that has been the hallmark of ILC UK’s work over a number of years. In common with much of ILC UK’s research, this usefully highlights the importance of addressing the challenges and opportunities of our ageing society. Improving quality of later life is an important goal which can benefit increasing numbers of people.”

Baroness Greengross, ILC-UK Chief Executive said
“It is brilliant to see how many 80 year olds remain active. There were 17 runners in this year’s London Marathon aged over 80.  But 80 at Eighty also highlights the day to day challenges faced by too many people into their 80s and beyond.
The priority for me, as I pass my own 80th birthday, is to focus policy effort on ensuring more and more 80 year olds are healthier longer. Growing numbers of people aged into their 80s and 90s is great news, particularly if we can better prevent the multiple illnesses that can destroy wellbeing in later life.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director for Age UK said:
“It is fantastic that there are more over-80s in our society than ever before and that this age group is increasing more quickly than any other.

"Growing numbers of these people are making significant contributions to their families and communities - indeed to our country - and in the process they are dismantling ageist stereotypes about what it is to be 'old'.

"No one epitomises this better than Baroness Sally Greengross, who has had a long and distinguished career supporting older people that she shows no sign of giving up, and who herself is joining the over-80s club this year.

"Age UK is therefore delighted to announce that from 2016 we will host an annual Greengross Lecture in Sally's honour. Our intention is that the Lecture will champion later life and the person or people who have made a really big difference to it that year - a fitting tribute we hope to all that Sally has done and continues to do."

Electrical Safety First is urging the Government to put an end to poor quality housing after its report, released today, concludes that one million people aged over 75 currently live in non-decent homes.

The report, A Shock to the System: Electrical Safety in an Ageing Society, reveals that the current housing stock is putting vulnerable people at risk, and is not fit to allow people to age safely in their own homes, with those living in low-income households or in rural areas most affected. A lack of new builds combined with an ageing population means this situation will worsen unless urgent action is taken.

Housing is classed as non-decent if it fails to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard, and means they are not warm enough, are in a state of disrepair or do not have modern facilities. Poor electrical safety is a particular concern - nearly two thirds of households with a couple over 60 do not meet basic electrical safety standards , which include having such life-saving devices such as a modern fusebox, residual current device, circuit breakers and PVC wiring.

The report reveals serious concerns about the electrical safety of older people. More than 350,000 people are seriously injured by electricity every year and older adults are more likely to be affected - a person over 60 is ten times more likely to die in a fire than someone one aged 17 to 24.

The Charity explains how older people are disproportionately at risk because they are living in their properties for longer, meaning there is a longer time between comprehensive checks and the electrical installations and appliances also tend to be older; 42% of householders who have lived in their property for 30 or more years live in non-decent accommodation .

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First, said: “The Government has a duty to ensure that no-one is living in unsafe housing, and yet a million over 75s live in housing deemed non-decent by their own standards. A shortage of new builds means that housing stock will continue to age, electrics will continue to deteriorate and vulnerable people will continue to be put at risk. Most people want to stay in their home as long as possible, but for this to happen we need central and local governments to act and ensure elderly people can maintain their independence by living in safe and decent houses.”

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre, who authored the report on behalf of Electrical Safety First, said: “As our population ages we are witnessing more older people living independently at home. It is therefore vital that every effort should be made to make the home environment as safe as possible.  Our Inquiry found however, that too many older people live in poor housing conditions potentially putting them at risk of electrical harm. At the same time, growing numbers of people with dementia need to be confident that their homes, which should be as hazard-free as possible. We know there are 1 million older people living in non-decent homes; there now needs to be a concerted effort from central government and local authorities to rectify this”.

The report also notes that there are other barriers to older people being electrically safe, which include a fear of letting strangers into their homes to carry out essential maintenance work, the costs of hiring  tradespeople and social isolation – all of which mean hazards may go unnoticed. Dementia can also increase safety risks as memory problems and confusion can mean electrical appliances are used unsafely.

To address these issues, Electrical Safety First has produced a free leaflet which includes tips and advice for anyone concerned about safety in their own home or that of a relative/friend. The Charity also says that a number of safety issues can be identified and addressed through a simple visual check of a home and has produced a free smartphone app to carry out these checks. For more information, to download the booklet or access the app, visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/agesafe.

Ends

Savers could buy £1 bonds for chance to win cash prizes in monthly draws.

A premium bond-style savings plan could help solve Britain’s elderly care funding crisis, academics say.
Individuals as young as 18 could save for care in old age by buying £1 bonds sold on the internet and in post offices and corner shops.
The bonds, offering a fixed rate of interest, would put owners in line to win monthly tax-free cash prizes in draws worth more than £600 million a year.
The savings would only be released on passing a simple assessment for social care or if the owner passed away, when they would transfer to the individual’s estate. The trigger for entitlement would be set lower than that used by local authorities.

The proposal is outlined by academics at Cass Business School, part of City University London, in a newly-published paper titled, ‘Personal Care Savings Bonds: A new way of saving towards social care in later life’.
It is estimated that the UK population aged over 75 will double from five million to 10 million by 2040, placing increasing strain on both personal and state finances required to fund care in old age.

An ageing population ushers in a completely new era, requiring society to find radical solutions to the problem of funding social care,” said co-author, Professor Les Mayhew.
Personal Care Savings Bonds (PCSB) are a long–term solution to funding elderly care in which responsibility is shared by the individual and the state.
“PCSBs make it easier for individuals to save for their future social care needs in a way that builds up over decades and offers them a personal stake.
“They can be bought by people from all economic backgrounds, including those who would not ordinarily save for their care or have the resources to pay for it.  Consumers could include spontaneous purchasers as well as regular savers.”

“Although PCSBs, like insurance, pay out on the triggering of care needs, they have the attraction of producing substantial prize money that is tax free.  Unlike insurance premiums, unused bonds pass into a person’s estate.”
 

If 12.6 million people purchased PCSBs – half the number who currently buy premium bonds – the fund would reach £70 billion within a few decades.  This assumes 20% of investors would trigger care before they died. However, even if 50% triggered care the size of the fund on maturity would be only round £1bn less.
The authors calculate that someone buying just £100 of bonds every year from the age of 18 - based on 1% in prize money and 2% in interest – would build up a fund worth £11,000 by the age of 75, and £18,000 at 95.

Professor Mayhew, said:  “Hardly anyone is interested in putting savings aside for their future care needs and there are no commercial financial products available to help pay for care costs.
“With new pension flexibilities announced this year allowing people to spend down their pension pots as they wish, there is a good chance that people will run out of money by the time care is needed.
“The call from Government to develop long term care insurance products has also been very disappointing. If they were to be developed they would be expensive and suit only a few people.
“It is clear that funds generated by PCSBs would be insufficient to pay the full cost of residential care but they would be a significant contribution in the case of domiciliary care and reduce other financial pressures on individuals and families at their time of greatest need.”


Government funding for social care will come under even greater pressure in future years. To ensure PCSBs bring new money into the care system the authors propose that the funds would not count towards the social care mean test which is based on a person’s income and assets.

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre UK, said:  "We are pleased to have supported this excellent idea since its inception. As well as making saving more fun, we think PCSBs are practical and worthwhile. They will help to fill the growing gap in care funding - which will struggle for decades to come unless new money is found."

‘Personal Care Savings Bonds: A new way of saving towards social care in later life’, by Professors Les Mayhew and David Smith of Cass Business School is available here.

Media enquiries:
Chris Johnson, Senior Communications Officer, Cass Business School
Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 5210
E-mail: chris.johnson.1@city.ac.uk

The social stigma which surrounds dementia is impeding early diagnosis, care and research into the disease, according to a new report by thr ILC-UK

The report, New perspectives and approaches to understanding dementia and stigma, published by the think tank International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) in collaboration with the MRC, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and supported by the drug company Pfizer, shines a light on the impact the fear around dementia has on those living with the condition, their families and carers, which prevents the research community capturing a full picture of the disease.

According to data in the report, people over the age of 55 fear being diagnosed with dementia more than any other condition and at least 1 in 4 people hide their diagnosis, citing stigma as the reason.

Professor Hugh Perry, Chair of the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board, said:

“This report provided a unique opportunity to focus on a little-researched area that has a major impact within society. We wanted to highlight what may not be widely realised - that stigma exists and that the evidence shows it is likely to worsen a person’s symptoms and quality of life through loneliness and rejection. If people are too frightened to address early signs of dementia, we can’t possibly get a full picture of the disease from a research perspective, to understand how the disease first develops and how it varies from person to person. It’s clear that more needs to be done to understand the roots and causes of dementia and stamp out social stigma– the same way that stigma surrounding Cancer and HIV has been all but eradicated.”

Sally-Marie Bamford, Director of Research and Strategy International Centre for Longevity UK (ILC-UK) said:

"The ILC-UK are delighted to be launching this Compendium with the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research, supported by Pfizer. This piece of work sheds a valuable light on the causes and origins of stigma and dementia and we hope by working together we can start to move forward and help reduce the everyday discrimination and inequalities so many people with dementia and their carers face."

Dr Matthew Norton, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are pleased to have contributed to this report, which sheds light on the stigma that still surrounds dementia and the impact this can have on those affected. Despite the far-reaching effects of dementia on individuals and society as a whole, there is still a lack of public awareness and understanding of the condition. Greater awareness could help lift the stigma that is too often still attached to dementia, and research has a role to play in helping people understand the condition. Dementia is not inevitable, but is caused by diseases, and continued investment in research, such as that from the MRC’s Dementias Platform and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s defeat dementia campaign, is vital if we are to beat those diseases.”

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:

”Too often people with dementia tell us that since their diagnosis they’ve faced an unacceptable level of stigma and in some cases lost friends and social networks. This wouldn’t happen if you had a disease like cancer and is a totally unacceptable, yet avoidable situation that people with dementia have to face.

“We’ve come a long way in terms of raising awareness but we still need to do more as a society to banish the stigma surrounding dementia once and for all. Beating dementia won’t just happen in a lab. By next year 850,000 people in the UK will have dementia. If we’re going to tackle the condition we also need to make the society we live in more dementia friendly. We’re doing this by creating dementia friendly communities that have the know-how to help and recruiting a million Dementia Friends. Work such as this is a key part of the fight against dementia.”

The Ready for Ageing Alliance today launches its manifesto for action entitled ‘Getting Ready for Ageing’.  The report calls on policymakers in Government and beyond to start engaging seriously with the trend towards longer lives, which is fundamentally changing our country and our world.

The Ready for Ageing Alliance was formed in 2013 following publication of the ‘Filkin report’  and its conclusion that we as a country were nowhere near ready for an ageing population. The aim of members Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Anchor, Carers UK; Centre for Policy on Ageing, the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK), Independent Age and Joseph Rowntree Foundation is to make the case for action to ensure that our society makes the most of our ageing population.

Our demography is changing significantly and quickly: by 2030 there will be 101 per cent more people aged 85 and over in England and 51 per cent more aged 65 and over, compared to 2010. Around one in three of all babies born in 2013 is expected to celebrate their 100th birthday. By the time of the next election, there will be 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This will rise to over 1 million by 2051


The Ready for Ageing Alliance believes that the growing numbers of people in later life are a cause for real celebration but that we need to do a lot more to respond to both the challenges and the opportunities that longevity brings.

The manifesto sets out detailed recommendations for public policy covering housing; health & social care; the economy and communities and calls for Government to take the lead, with a single point of contact, at Cabinet level, responsible for age and ageing policy.

It also targets some big 'policy own goals' that sees us as a country currently hurtling in the wrong direction in terms of getting ready for ageing. For example, it says we must:

- Stop seeing ageing as being just about older people - if we wait until we are 60 or 70 to prepare we'll have left it too late. That's why the Alliance wants everyone to be sent a pack at 50 giving information and advice.

- End age discrimination – Legislation has gone some way to preventing discrimination on grounds of age but bizarrely financial services are exempt and hidden discrimination remains in many walks of life

- Stop operating hospitals on a model designed for the past – Staff/patient ratios on hospital wards for older patients are often lower than on general wards, yet older people often need more help - e.g. to eat and drink

- Stop undervaluing the over 65s, who currently spend a massive £2.2 billion a week and contribute £61billion to the economy through employment, icaring and volunteering.

- Stop ignoring the fact that many older workers are forced to leave the labour market early.  Start building more flexible work opportunities to make it possible for family members of all ages juggle work and care for older relatives.

 

Caroline Abrahams, spokesperson for the Ready for Ageing Alliance said:

“Last month we set out how individuals had a responsibility to prepare for ageing. But the responsibility does not lie with individuals alone. Government is failing to recognise and address the long term challenges of ageing. Unless we wake up to the major challenges ahead we run the risk of poorer, more isolated pensioners, greater intergenerational tensions and an economy which is not maximising the potential of the older consumer.

"Our politicians need to 'wake up’ and respond to our ageing population. There are so many opportunities to be had from an ageing society but without action now we will waste them."

"Longer lives are a great gift and Government must lead the way in getting us ready for ageing. There is no senior Ministerial post, dedicated unit or Cabinet Committee in place and never has been under any administration. We fear this reflects disinclination among policymakers to grip the issue and commit to action.

“We are hugely underprepared for an ageing population - the time to act is now.  In the run up to the election we want every political party setting out ambitious plans to prepare for the demographic changes facing the UK. At the very least we need to stop ageing being seen as just being about older people. We are all going to age and we all need to tackle these challenges.”


Contact: Liz Fairweather
Tel :0203 033 1718
Email: Liz.fairweather@ageuk.org.uk

ILC-UK calls for a national debate on the future of the care home

A new “futures” report, published by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), argues that the care home of the future must become a ‘community hub’, delivering a range of services under one roof or in closely integrated neighbourhoods.

Launching the report, Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said:
“Our report highlights how care homes have improved over 40 years. Economic, environmental and demographic change will put increased pressure on the sector, as will the need to meet the increasing demands of the older consumer.

The care home of the future must be situated within the community it serves. Care homes should be considered less as a series of physical buildings and more as a model for delivering specialist care within a wider community. Funding models for the care home of the future must help facilitate this new community hub.

We need a public debate on what the care home of the future should look like and how we can all work together to deliver this vision.”

Paul Burstow MP, Minister of State for Care Services added:
"The care home has a future. I've always seen residential care as part of the mix in some people's care journey. At its heart the care home of the future will be the idea of 'home'. A place where relationships matter. A place open and outward looking, part of the community not closed, isolated and institutionalising. These ideas are part of the agenda for transformation I set out in the Care and Support White Paper last week."

Mike Parsons, Chief Executive and founder of Barchester Healthcare added:
“This year marks Barchester Healthcare’s twentieth anniversary. The care home has changed significantly since we launched our first home 20 years ago. The sector has adapted to many of the challenges highlighted in the ILC-UK report over the last 20 years. But we cannot be complacent. Societal change means the sector will need to continue to change to meet new challenges. Identifying and meeting local needs and engaging with communities local to our homes has always been a vital element of our approach to care homes. We take pride in our position at the forefront of the design of the care home of the future, which will continue to play a vital role in the delivery of care for older people and increasingly act as a hub for community support and the strengthening of community links.”

In the report, ‘Care Home Sweet Home’, supported by Barchester Healthcare, ILC-UK highlight the very significant challenges facing the care home sector over the next ten years including:

  • better engaging the community with care homes
  • making the most of the potential of new technology
  • finding a sustainable funding model for care which ensures that the care home can deliver quality personalised services
  • creating an informed care consumer
  • protecting vulnerable adults without over-regulating and thus stifling innovation
  • ‘chronic difficulties’ in the recruitment and retention of care home staff
  • ensuring environmental sustainability through, for example, better management of the consumption of energy and water
  • making the care home a real community hub
  • tackling societal ageism


The ILC-UK report considers how demographic, economic, technological, environmental and social change will impact on the care home sector. It explores how care homes of the future will fit in to the continuum of care, and how they can develop their services flexibly in order to respond to the changing aspirations and needs of 21st century consumers.

Publishing the report, ILC-UK set out recommendations for Government, the care home sector and the community as a whole. ILC-UK argue that:

Government will need to:

  • develop a funding system to adequately fund the care home of the future
  • ensure that funding is designed in such a way as to facilitate the development of personalised services
  • ensure that any new regulatory approaches to care home management do not inadvertently prevent innovation in care
  • find ways of ensuring improved communications between health services (e.g. GPs) and care homes
  • support innovative initiatives to fund energy conservation and the development of renewable energy in the care home sector

The care home sector will need to:

  • better market itself as a good career option for young and old
  • recognise the challenge of personalisation and find ways of better delivering a unique personalised service to the individual
  • reach out to the community
  • wisely introduce new usable and/or ambient technology to improve service delivery

The community as a whole will need to:

  • address endemic ageism, which creates a negative image of care and of older people
  • debate the ethical issues associated with an increased use of technology in care homes
  • find ways of using the care home as a hub
  • become more informed and more demanding consumers of care
  • introduce innovative ways of encouraging volunteering within care homes

ENDS

Contact
Jessica Watson or David Sinclair at ILC-UK on 02073400440

Notes

  • Spokespeople are available for broadcast interviews
  • Care Home Sweet Home will be published on the ILC-UK website (www.ilcuk.org.uk) on Wednesday 18th July. Advance copies are available for journalists from Jessica Watson at ILC-UK (jessicawatson@ilcuk.org.uk)
  • Care Home Sweet Home has been funded by Barchester Healthcare

Allow older drivers to voluntarily restrict their driving licences, argues International Longevity Centre-UK.

There is a clear need for policy-makers to consider the implications of an ageing society on our road safety, according to a new policy brief published today by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK). The think-tank argues, however, that reform should look to build upon the existing process of ‘self-regulation’.

The policy brief Older Drivers and Behavioural Change, produced with the support of the RAC Foundation, considers the policy implications of ILC-UK’s research on the driving decisions made by older people, published earlier this year.

Older drivers tend to be as safe as other age groups, up to around the age of 80 – by which time the majority of people have ceased driving. Furthermore, driving is vital to the mobility, independence and ultimately quality of life of many older people. Nevertheless, we know that driving is affected by age-related decline. The brief utilises insights from behavioural economics and psychology to suggest various ‘nudges’ that government could introduce to improve the regulatory system around driving in later life.

ILC-UK is therefore recommending:

1. DVLA should introduce self-selected licence restrictions. Older drivers should be able to voluntarily restrict their driving activity, thereby nudging older people towards self-regulation.

2. DVLA should mandate older drivers to declare, at the point of self-declaration, that they have discussed their driving capability and habits with a medical professional.

3. The government should introduce a 10 per cent discount on Vehicle Excise Duty for older drivers that can demonstrate self-regulation.

4. The Department for Transport should develop and distribute a self-assessment toolkit so that older drivers can monitor and evaluate their own driving capabilities.

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief-Executive at ILC-UK said “We believe that policy-makers are right to consider the potential impact of an ageing society on road safety. But self-regulation is already evident among older drivers, and it is crucial that this is supported as far as possible. Our proposals would help to create an effective form of self-regulation while recognising that most older drivers are responsible road users.”

Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation said. “We are an ageing population. The number of drivers over 75 may well double in the next twenty years and many will be dependent on their cars to live healthy and happy lives. The challenge is to keep our senior citizens mobile while preserving their safety and that of other road users. Voluntary changes in driving routines can enable safer driving by older people and the RAC Foundation is strongly supportive of the proposals in this policy brief.”

Contact:

Dr Craig Berry (report author) at ILC-UK on 02073400440. Or email craigberry@ilcuk.org.uk

END

Notes to Editor:

1. Older Drivers and Behavioural Change will be available on the ILC-UK website on 8th November 2011. Advanced copies are available for the media.

2. The production of Older Drivers and Behavioural Change has been supported by the RAC Foundation.

3. The International Longevity Centre-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. It is an independent, non-partisan think-tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change. We develop ideas, undertake research and create a forum for debate. The ILC-UK is a registered charity (no. 1080496) incorporated with limited liability in England and Wales (company no. 3798902).

4. Dr Craig Berry is a Senior Researcher at ILC-UK and the author of Can Older Drivers Be Nudged? (RAC Foundation, 2011). He also lectures on economic policy at the University of Warwick. He worked previously as a Policy Advisor on Older People and State Pensions at HM Treasury, and completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2008.

Extra Care Housing could play a major part in delivering better health outcomes and reducing the long term care costs facing older people.

New research, which uses longitudinal data from three providers of Extra Care (Audley Retirement, Extra Care Charitable Trust, and Retirement Security Limited) finds that compared to those living in the community in receipt of domiciliary care, those in extra care housing are about half as likely to enter institutional accommodation. The research argues therefore that extra care accommodation is a ‘home for life’ – one that does successfully adapt to residents’ changing social care needs.

The research also finds that:

  • Around a quarter of residents who enter extra care with additional social care needs, later go on to experience an improvement in their health equating to a decrease in social care needs.
     
  • Extra care housing is associated with a lower likelihood of admittance to a hospital overnight compared to a matched sample living in the community.
     
  • A lower than expected number of falls was recorded in a matched comparison group when compared to those living in the community.

These findings suggest that extra care housing could contribute significant financial savings to the public purse, particularly when taking a long-term perspective.

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said: “In publishing his recent report on paying for care, Andrew Dilnot recognised the importance of Extra Care housing. This new research provides further evidence that early investment in good quality housing could improve health and care outcomes and reduce costs. It is a win-win situation. We urge the Government to make specific pledges to support the development of the extra care housing as part of developing a range of housing options available to older people.”

Dr Dylan Kneale, Senior Researcher, ILC-UK added: “This report breaks new ground in researching the housing with care model, through using never before analysed longitudinal data on almost 4,000 extra care housing residents. In doing so, the report shows that extra care housing successfully lives up to the remit of providing housing for older people that can adapt to their changing needs.”

Jeremy Porteus, Director of Housing LIN, welcomed this excellent report. He said “This is an extremely important report that cuts across housing, health and social care sector silos. It makes a significant contribution to the growing body of evidence around the value of extra care housing and the triggers for older people wanting to make a positive lifestyle choice on independent living in later life or in response to or pre-empt a future health and care need. The macro economic benefits and the potential ‘dividend’ to local health and social care economies where there is an extra care scheme are enormous. Most importantly, extra care housing can offer a ‘home for life’ for many residents and reduce demand on more costly care interventions. Policy makers, commissioners and planners should take note.”

ILC-UK believes that:

1. Policy-makers need a co-ordinated response to providing housing, health care and social care for our ageing population.

2. Policy-makers should make specific pledges to increase the level of provision of extra-care housing.

3. The proposed National Planning Policy Framework should champion the housing needs of older people far more robustly.

4. Policy-makers should recognise and encourage private sector development of extra-care housing.

5. The Health White Paper in its current form does include some mention of housing, although this is in the context of Lifetime Homes and the Warm Front schemes, both of which have fallen by the policy wayside in recent months. The findings in this report suggest that policy-makers drafting the Health White Paper should explicitly consider and make specific pledges to increase the role of housing with care.

6. Policy-makers should enhance programmes of education for those who are retired and newly retired to plan their housing and financial futures. Furthermore, consumers need reassurance that policy changes will not negatively impact their retirement decisions.

7. Any National or Local Falls Prevention Strategy should include housing as a key component of preventing further falls.

8. Receipt of Attendance Allowance opens a gateway for many older people to access extra care housing, through helping to finance monthly care costs and to help access other benefits. We would urge policy-makers to ensure that all who are eligible to claim Attendance Allowance do so which could enable greater numbers of older people to support a stay in extra care housing.

9. We would call on policy-makers to fund the design and delivery of standard data collection across the sector to allow researchers to fully quantify costs and benefits of different care models.

NOTES

  • Extra care housing represents an integrated model of housing and flexible social care support that potentially holds fiscal and wider benefits for older people and the state
  • Over the last year, ILC-UK has been undertaking a major piece of research into the benefits of extra care housing through examining resident outcomes.
  • Using longitudinal data from 3 providers, Audley Retirement, Extra Care Charitable Trust, and Retirement Security Limited, with additional funding provided from Housing Learning and Improvement Network, we have undertaken a major review which explores the characteristics of residents, the notion of extra care housing as a home for life, the health outcomes of residents, and patterns of health service usage of residents.
  • We have also explored the costs and benefits associated with our findings. This new research also explores how the outcomes of residents in extra care could differ from the outcomes of older people living in the community in receipt of domiciliary care.
  • The research will be launched at an event on 13th September 2011 at the International Longevity Centre – UK.
  • The International Longevity Centre-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. It is an independent, non-partisan think-tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change. We develop ideas, undertake research and create a forum for debate.

ILC-UK Chief Executive comments on the Commission on Funding of Care and Support

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK, said:

I greatly welcome today’s publication of the Dilnot Commission’s report on the future funding of adult social care. The ‘partnership’ model it recommends strikes a fair balance between individual and state and ensures that the highest costs, which frequently occur at the end of life, will not fall on individuals and their families. The private sector should now be able to develop affordable products while shielding individuals from potentially financially catastrophic costs.

So while a window of opportunity has opened up, some interesting communication and messaging challenges still lay ahead of us. To get things moving it is critically important that, as the report recommends, Government should set up a working group of central government, local government, the financial services industry, the Financial Services Authority and interested third-sector organisations to consider how to enable the development of an effective market which supports consumers in making sound choices.

ENDS

Contact: info@ilcuk.org.uk

ILC-UK join alliance of organisations calling for cross-party consensus on care

The International Longevity Centre – UK has joined forces with a number of organisations to send an open letter to the leaders of the three main parties, urging them to address the care “crisis” in the UK without delay.

The letter calls on all parties to respond to the upcoming recommendations of the Dilnot Commission with a measured debate in order to build a shared, cross-partisan approach to the future of care in this country. Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre – UK, said: “This is a crisis and we have got to get it right.”

Other organisations who co-signed the letter include BUPA Care Services, Counsel + Care, National Care Forum, Carers UK, ADASS, The Strategic Society Centre, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Age UK and the Local Government Association.

A report of this letter can be found on the Telegraph website.

The ILC-UK is pleased to announce the start of a major research project into the lives of older carers, which is being funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The research project, called 'Living and Caring? An Investigation of the Experience of Older Carers', is being undertaken in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research.

The findings of the research are scheduled to be published around the end of 2007.

If you would like to learn more about this research, please email jameslloyd@ilcuk.org.uk

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