A new book examined key social and ethical dilemmas facing ageing societies (such as autonomy, agency, frailty, social isolation, and dementia), bringing together two streams of thought within critical gerontology: analyses of structural issues in the context of political economy; and humanistic perspectives on issues of existential meaning.
Source: Jan Baars, Joseph Dohmen, Amanda Grenier, and Chris Phillipson, Ageing, Meaning and Social Structure: Connecting critical and humanistic gerontology, Policy Press
An article examined the work of the English Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing, a voluntary sector-led initiative aimed at making proposals for voluntary sector organizations on how to approach the ageing population.
Source: Gemma Carney, 'Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing: a policy review', Voluntary Sector Review, Volume 5 Number 2
A new book examined ageing from a multi-disciplinary perspective, drawing on findings from the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme.
Source: Alan Walker (ed.), The New Science of Ageing, Policy Press
A report examined the evidence about how communities should to adapt to an ageing society, focusing on on three main themes: how to ensure that homes would support the ability to engage in the community; how to ensure that the space and services (such as transport) between the home and the broader community would facilitate engagement; and how to ensure that future communities could deliver the services and activities that an ageing society demanded. The report said that housing needed to be adaptable and that communities needed to do more than merely meet basic needs, should be places of fun for everyone, should work for all ages, and should not segregate the needs of different groups. It said that this would require a step change in the approach to planning communities, and an adjustment in how older age was perceived. The report made a range of recommendations.
Source: David Sinclair and Jessica Watson, Making our Communities Ready for Ageing: A call to action, International Longevity Centre – UK/Age UK
The Welsh Government published a declaration of rights for older people in Wales. The declaration would have no binding legal effect, but set out aspirational rights as already underpinned by law.
Source: Declaration of Rights for Older People in Wales, Welsh Government
A new book examined volunteering among older people in eight European countries (including the United Kingdom), as part of a policy for active ageing. It discussed the influence of different interactions between the structural, macro, meso, and micro levels, and made policy suggestions.
Source: Andrea Principi, Per Jensen, and Giovanni Lamura, Active Ageing: Voluntary work by older people in Europe, Policy Press
A report said that the United Kingdom government's approach to providing for an ageing population was piecemeal and unco-ordinated, driven by impending liabilities (for example on pensions) or in response to crises (such as in social care). It said that a reactive approach was costly and inefficient and urged public services, businesses, civil society, and individuals to think long-term about older age, with an approach starting in childhood. The report made a range of recommendations.
Source: Will Horwitz, Looking Forward to Later Life: Taking an early action approach to our ageing society, Community Links
A think-tank report examined loneliness in old age. It said that nearly half of those over the age of 85 experienced loneliness some or most of the time, and that loneliness was strongly associated with greater risk of various illnesses and early admission into residential or nursing care. The report considered practical steps to reduce levels of loneliness among the oldest old and made a range of recommendations, including for an older people's commissioner, and for clinical commissioning groups to address the issue in their joint strategic needs assessments.
Source: James Kempton and Sam Tomlin, Ageing Alone: Loneliness and the 'oldest old', CentreForum
An article examined the meanings of free bus travel for older citizens in London. It said that travelling by bus provided opportunities for meaningful social interaction and avoidance of chronic loneliness, and argued that, where older people had a right to travel on good public transport, it was experienced as a major contributor to well-being.
Source: Judith Green, Alasdair Jones, and Helen Roberts, 'More than A to B: the role of free bus travel for the mobility and wellbeing of older citizens in London', Ageing and Society, Volume 34 Issue 3
An article examined methods for the measurement of subjective well-being in later life and proposed that a threefold structure, distinguishing affective, cognitive, and eudemonic aspects of well-being, was more informative than the twofold measure (hedonic and eudemonic) in more general use.
Source: Bram Vanhoutte, 'The multidimensional structure of subjective well-being in later life', Journal of Population Ageing, Volume 7 Number 1
An article examined use of the internet for legal information and advice seeking by those aged over 60. It said that there had been a general increase in use among all age groups over time, albeit with a lower rate of growth among those currently over 60. It discussed the implications for policy-makers in setting priorities for online service provision in England and Wales, given the ageing demographic and planned changes to civil legal aid.
Source: Catrina Denvir, Nigel Balmer, and Pascoe Pleasence, 'Portal or pot hole? Exploring how older people use the "information superhighway" for advice relating to problems with a legal dimension', Ageing and Society, Volume 34 Issue 4
A report examined specialist provision for older people with drug and alcohol misuse problems. It called for more specialist, age-appropriate services, stable funding, and improved awareness and support in care settings, including primary and social care.
Source: It's About Time: Tackling substance misuse in older people, DrugScope/Recovery Partnership
An article examined the policies and initiatives aimed at promoting active aging in two European cities, Brussels and Manchester, highlighting similarities and differences in their approaches and actions, and the opportunities and barriers to the implementation of age-friendly policies. The article was part of a special issue of the journal that examined the concept of age-friendly cities in a range of countries across the world.
Source: Tine Buffel, Paul McGarry, Chris Phillipson, Liesbeth De Donder, Sarah Dury, Nico De Witte, An-Sofie Smetcoren, and Dominique Verte, 'Developing age-friendly cities: case studies from Brussels and Manchester and implications for policy and practice', Journal of Aging and Social Policy, Volume 26 Issue 1-2