“Age UK Conference”

I went to the Age UK Later Life Conference at the start of July; walked into a lot of doctors which is by far the best way to remind you that you have reached the age to go to an Age UK Conference.

Curiously the title of the conference was “Loving Later Life” which held out the prospect of some positive images of retirement, but sadly Age UK swiftly went back to its roots and focussed mainly on “helping the aged” and “age concern”.   Seems like they can’t break free of the burden of their history!

Lots of talk by the doctors about integrating health and social care.   A subject that has been discussed by doctors for years, but since it challenges the independently funded empires of primary care, hospital care and local authority controlled social services, little is likely to change for many years to come.

Government Ministers and Shadow Ministers danced around the subject trying to look positive but say nothing controversial before next years’ election – so that guarantees nothing will happen soon.

Age UK Executives, wanting to be friends with everyone, agreed with everything and congratulated themselves and everyone else about what a good job they were all doing. The few challenging contributions from audience members were quickly glossed over leaving no disharmony on yet another year of little progress.

The changing demographics of the elderly population adds pressure to all elderly services to the point where the NHS is overwhelmed with older people and some services are beginning to be rationed or not offered at all to older people.   GP’s are sinking under the weight of patients with multiple chronic conditions, while their patients wait and wait to see them at all.   Social Services have been starved of cash by Central Government to the point where they are forced to look for excuses not to care for people at home.

Meanwhile, in the parallel universe of Age UK’s later life conference, all is sweetness and no light.


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3 Responses to “Age UK Conference”

  1. John Interesting subject matter. I have browsed the ‘Age Concern-Web Site’ with respect to the conference you mention. No new information or any hint of a new policy for ‘Age Concern’ as a body.
    I find from reading the dialogue of ‘Age Concern’ people of my age are mere transients-passing ships in the night. At my age of 71 with ideas of how my future life should be spent, and in which activities I may wish to partake in, are purely personal to me. My life expectancy at 71 (Three score years +1) are for me and the good lord to debate! I can bring to the table experience, maybe not wisdom, but hopes of how I look forward to my remaining years.
    In this society of ours and the advances of medicine and social promblems, do we count or are we the guinea pigs for our younger generations to play with, so they may ponder and poke and prod and simulate life in old age? I hope not.
    I cannot do too much; I have still the mind and capacity to vote! However I am restricted by savings and income (Pensions etc.) of how much I can donate or even spend on persuading others in my position (Of Like age) to do something active and change the world, or my world at least. Looking through the glass mirror all I see and can respect is the next generation, and I must rely on them to provide my income and returns on savings (So I personally have a modest way of Living), and so I believe is AGE Concerns mantra It is run by young bloods who believe they have the right of god on their side? Plus a disturbing fact of life they have the time, the means with Income and commercial contacts to promote ‘Old Age’ as a business? We on the other hand live the life and our business acumen is governed by the remaining years we have on this mortal world as individuals before frailty and ‘dry rot with old age’ denigh us of our faculties.
    Life is life? Age Concern is age concern like you I was disappointed with the conference agenda? At least they are talking.

  2. davidwfreeman237 says:

    age three score years and ten+1 (Correction) apologies.

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