The Old Person’s Council work with the Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, health services and the Welsh Assembly Government, along with many other organisations that have an influence over the lives of all older people. View flyer here.
In December 2015, the UK Government announced that it was considering devolving Attendance Allowance to Wales, a benefit available to people aged 65 and over who have a disability which means that they require care or supervision on a daily basis. It is claimed by just over 100,000 people in Wales, at a cost of approximately £400 million a year.
Compared to other benefits for people with disabilities, Attendance Allowance has had a relatively low profile in recent years as it was not subject to significant change in the latest period of welfare reform. Claimants are also exempt from two of the key changes to social security in the UK – Universal Credit and the Benefit Cap.
Read the report here.
Welsh Assembly told to ‘up the ante’ in tackling scams against older people
Being scammed by criminals can have a devastating impact on an older person’s life and we need to up the ante in tackling this growing menace. This is the message Age Cymru is taking to a special session of the National Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Older People and Ageing this week.
The charity says 150,000 people in Wales are scammed each year and that older people get scammed for twice the amount of cash in comparison with younger people, averaging losses of £1,200 per scam.
Age Cymru says many older people who have been scammed often feel too embarrassed to share their experiences and seek help. In extreme cases this can lead to the person losing their self-confidence, withdrawing from life, and even giving up their independence.
The charity wants to raise public awareness of scams and the simple steps older people can take to protect themselves. It is also wants public and private organisations to introduce measures that stop criminals from using their services to scam older people. The charity is also pressing for improved data collection on the scale of scamming in Wales and better support for victims seeking justice and financial compensation.
Top tips on avoiding scams
There are several ways in which criminals target older people with scams. They can be targeted at their door step, through junk mail, via the telephone or online. Whichever method they use, it is important that older people learn about a few basic actions that they can take to protect themselves.
- Use door chains to keep door step scammers out of your home
- Don’t believe letters claiming you have won a lottery if you never entered it in the first place
- Hang up the telephone if you are suspicious about a call and remember that a bank will never ask for a PIN number
- Delete emails from unknown sources. Never open or reply to them.
- Get independent financial advice before agreeing to sign up to any financial arrangement
- If you have been scammed or feel you are being scammed don’t be embarrassed as it can happen to anyone. Instead seek help and support from a reputable organisation such as Trading Standards, local Police Station or Citizen’s Advice.
For a free copy of Age UK’s Avoiding Scams – smart ways to protect yourself please call our free Information and Advice line on 08000 223 444.
Read the report here.
In late November and early December 2016, CHC members visited 48 wards in community hospitals across Wales. We spoke to older people and staff to find out what was provided to alleviate boredom, increase socialisation and reduce loneliness for people experiencing longer stays.
We heard from people who had a positive experience of wards that provided a wide range of activities to support interaction. On the other hand we heard from many people who had experienced wards that were crowded, provided few or no activities and were described to us as barren and depressing.
We found that books, newspapers, crafts and use of hand held devices such as phones and tablets were popular ways for people to spend their time. Whilst some areas invested time and resources to support such activities others were reluctant to do so, often due to concerns over cross infection.
Wards without space to share meals or activities contributed in some instances to people feeling bored and isolated. Missing, broken or inappropriate equipment meant that access to television or radio could also be limited and all too frequently those without visitors did not have access to their own choice of clothes or personal items.
Above all, we found that positive staff attitudes made a significant difference to the ward environment. We found some wards that encouraged collective activity including meals, watching films or craft. CHCs believe that NHS staff should challenge themselves and learn from each other to provide creative and innovative activities that meet individual need, support wellbeing and enable people to maintain their independence.
Read the Report : Older People in Community Hospitals: Avoiding Boredom and Loneliness