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Ministry for the Third Age


Ministry for the Third Age

The Ministry for the Third Age is a department for those that are of, or are coming to, retirement age. Generally known as 55+

Location: London
Members: 5
Latest Activity: Feb 22, 2013

People in this age group have gone through many incarnations. They have been through the swinging sixties when the birth pill was first available, which changed the way we view sex and marriage. They have lived through several wars taking place around the globe as activists: protesting in public, Banning the Bomb and in the case of Greenham Common, helped to stop nuclear weapons proliferating.
This is the generation that won equality for women, raising the profile of injustice - all the while managing their families, and working lives.
I came to the idea of this Ministry from both my own experience and then researching what happened when Joan Bakewell took on her job - without payment - to advise the previous government on the needs of the elderly. She and I both believe that there is a priority to support this age group and attend to some of their needs until society steps up. Joan has now resigned this position and is actively campaigning for a Ministry for older people. It's worth noting that Northern Ireland and Wales already have a Cabinet member responsible.
At Number 10, neither the Ministry for Equality nor Children and Families actively cover this sector. It absolutely needs statuary powers to defend the rights of this group.
In the Mock Cabinet, the Ministry for the Third Age strives to support people 55+ with the following aims:
1 To re-include them in society. Generally older people are left out of ongoing development - often having more in common with the people they talk to on the internet world wide, than their local community or families.
2 To ensure the dignity and rights of the Third Age. This age group is commonly seen as 'on their way out' and therefore not in need of the full service from the NHS, local government, and education depts.
3 To raise the profile and re-brand the Third Age. To re-introduce the valuable and positive contribution that the third age can make to our society as people of wisdom and experience.
Ideas include:
adopt a granny/grandad for single parent families
helping older people onto the internet by solving the problem of forgetting passwords – for example by the use of fingerprints or ocular identification. This will help older peope to raise their own identity on the www while providing better security – a key issue for them. (Could this task be given to a group of TTAs to solve the problems for all groups with short term memory loss, including dyslexics?)

Discussion Forum

payment for care for the third age 4 Replies

What do you think? Is it the responsibility of the family to care for the old and infirm or the government? - this is an area that needs clarifying soon, so that people in the third age can plan…Continue

Tags: elderly, responsibility, old, the, for

Started by Carole Railton. Last reply by Carole Railton Aug 11, 2010.

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Comment by Carole Railton on March 1, 2011 at 22:21

Great adaptations: How e-books are helping close the technological ...

Technological advances: E-book readers such as the Kindle are slowly replacing traditional books

A higher proportion of over-55s now own an electronic reader than the supposedly more tech-savvy 18 to 24 age bracket.

Source Daily Mail 1st March 2011

Comment by Carole Railton on November 26, 2010 at 11:29
"Hesed is lovingkindness and refers to the total outflowing of unconditional love from God. When we exhibit lovingkindness, we heal the world because acts of lovingkindness bring unification. We exhibit lovingkindness when we have mercy and compassion and empathy for the suffering of other people. We are in a Hesed consciousness when we care for the sick and elderly, nurture a child, or give charity. Healing is accomplished through our relationships with other people. When you take care of a sick person or give comfort to someone in pain, you are at the same time giving comfort to all of Creation, and the act continues beyond the particular moment. "
~ Kim Zetter, Simple Kabbalah

How wonderful this is, and how appropriate to the third age when we are in fact practising this nearly every day.
Comment by Carole Railton on September 7, 2010 at 18:27
Here is some positive news put out by the BBC.
Welcome to the ageing future
By Christine Jeavans
BBC News

Two older women sharing a laugh
Stereotypes of ageing are being challenged (© Age Concern)
By 2025, more than a third of the UK's population will be over 55. We're living longer and staying active until much later in life. So why the pessimism about the rise of Britain's ageing population?

It's a sunny morning a couple of weeks before your 72nd birthday and you are making breakfast before you head out to work for a few hours.

With one hand you easily flip open a pack of bacon rashers and with the other you message your mother to see if she is still up for the protest rally this weekend.

You hope you will have time to get to the post-march gig with your mates afterwards and wonder about inviting your grandson too - you've only got the one but that's normal these days.

I can't bear the thought of a long, unhealthy old age
Julie, London

Your views on ageing Britain

Well no time to think about that now, you grab your gym bag for your post-work tai chi class, and head out the door.

This is not pure fantasy; all the trends identified above - from age-friendly design to flexible working after 65 - are either happening now or in the pipeline.

But it is a less familiar scenario than that conjured up by countless headlines warning of a "demographic time bomb" and looming pensions crisis.

What lies behind both visions of the future, however, is the stark and simple fact that Britain as a nation is getting older, fast.

Rise of the over-60s

In a dramatic and unprecedented demographic shift the number of young people is dwindling while the older sector of the population rapidly expands.

The underlying cause is that we are living longer and having fewer children - well below the replacement rate of 2.2 per woman - but the size of the baby boomer generation, who are just starting to retire, is accelerating the trend.

The rise of the UK's older generation

By 2014, projections suggest, over-65-year-olds will overtake the under-16s.

And by 2025, the number of over-60s will have passed the under-25s for the first time.

Life expectancy at birth is increasing but an even more telling figure is the increase in life expectancy after 60.

In the UK, a man who turned 60 in 1981 could expect to live another 16 years and a woman almost 21 years.

By 2003 this had increased to 20 years for men and 23 for women; and according to official UK projections, by 2026 this will rise to almost 24 years for men and almost 27 for women.

Even this could be an underestimate. Actuaries' charts show life-expectancy projections curving to a plateau to match the notion of a biological "maximum age" beyond which the human race cannot go.

But this theory is being challenged by research which suggests life expectancy may continue to improve in a straight line as it has done in the past.

Burden or boon?

There is evidence to suggest that not only are we living longer, we are staying healthier until an older age - something health experts refer to as 'compression of morbidity', meaning that most of us will only suffer severe age-related illnesses in the last year or so of life.

You would have thought that a long and healthy old age was a cause for celebration but there is a tendency to see the older population as a "burden on society".

Speaking of the 'burden'... will only be valid if we fail to restructure society and its institutions to reflect these new realities
Berglind Asgeirsdottir, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
Economists and actuaries worry about the dependency ratio - the ratio of children and people over 65 compared with the sector of the population that is of working age.

As the ratio rises, so it becomes harder to maintain living standards for the dependent population because the relatively shrinking workforce is put under strain.

It's easy to see why it causes concern among politicians and pension fund managers - the cosy arrangement of the current working population funding the retired breaks down if there are too few workers.

Hence the talk of raising the retirement age, of "bridge careers" to tide people over in their 60s and of forcing younger workers to pay into personal pension schemes.

But work alone is not an effective indicator of older people's economic contribution to society.

Vast numbers already care, unpaid, for their grandchildren or their own elderly relatives - a factor that is difficult to calculate in the Treasury's books but which pressure group Carers UK estimates as worth £10bn a year.

And then there's the spending power of those people - many of them baby boomers - who are lucky enough to have paid off their mortgage and avoided the worst of the pension fund crashes.

Baby boomer effect

Researchers predict that the baby boomer generation will revolutionise what it means to be old because their attitudes are so different to those of their parents.

According to market research, they are likely to be demanding and imaginative consumers of both products and services, seeking out information for themselves and refusing to be defined by their age-group.

But even before the bulk of the boomers retire, lingering stereotypes of the average senior citizen as a frail and passive creature are already out of date.

The latest available figures on volunteering show that 35% of people aged 75+ regularly give up some of their free time to help others.

Participation in society in other ways, such as voting or joining pressure groups and forums, is also high among current retirees.

Then the Saga phenomenon has revealed a love of adventurous travel and the boom in 'later love' dating websites suggests a passion for a full life.

Of course, not every aspect of an ageing society will be rosy. The division between the haves and have-nots could become even more marked among the elderly.

But as the OECD's Berglind Asgeirsdottir puts it: "Speaking of the 'burden'... will only be valid if we fail to restructure society and its institutions to reflect these new realities."

So welcome to the UK's ageing future, the revolution has already begun.
Comment by Carole Railton on August 26, 2010 at 11:42
Found this in HR Weekly
Older workforce will present new health challenges for employers
Posted by Cath Everett in Strategies on Wed, 25/08/2010 - 15:08

Occupational health professionals have warned that employers could face challenges in managing the needs of the more than 50% of workers who either do not expect to retire or are unsure when they can afford to do so.

An online poll among 1,478 UK workers undertaken by ICM Research on behalf of Baring Asset Management revealed that one in ten employees, the equivalent of 3.5 million people, believe they cannot afford to stop working – ever – while 42% were unable to say when they could realistically do so.

The figures contrast sharply with attitudes expressed only two years ago, when 100% of workers said they expected to retire and only 1% did not know at what age this was likely to be possible.

Marino Valensise, chief investment officer at Barings, said: “A combination of increased longevity, a rise in the cost of living, and people not saving enough means that more people are being forced to work beyond the age of 65. They simply can’t afford to stop working.”

The number of people no longer expecting to retire has jumped to 15% among people aged between 55 and 64 and to 36% for those aged 65 and over. About 100,000 believe they will need to keep working until they are at least 76 years old, while 2.3 million anticipate being over 65 when they are able to leave the workforce for good.

Of those that plan to retire after 65, just over two thirds were men and a third were women.

But the Institute of Occupational Medicine has warned that, even though the removal of the default retirement age had been welcomed by many, managing the health needs of older workers could prove a challenge for employers.

“Supporting and maintaining health and wellbeing at work will require input from a range of professionals in occupational health, public health, safety, occupational psychology, human resources and social policy,” the body said.

An evidence review carried out by the Institute indicated that many older workers had much to offer their employers as they tended to be more accurate and could call on accumulated knowledge and experience. While reaction times were slower, the issue was unlikely to have much impact on general working life, but age-related physiological changes tended to have a bigger effect.

As a result, ergonomics was likely to play an important role in supporting older workers. “Ergonomics can help to improve workplace and environmental design, task design and minimise the physical and mental risks to older workers. Designing work to fit the physical and mental capabilities of the employee can reduce the risk,” the Institute said.
Comment by Carole Railton on August 18, 2010 at 20:58
This is interesting, Apple's ipad seem to be a solution to some of the issues the third generation have had with computers. he iPad Leads Apple to the Elderly
Seniors love the ease of use the tablet offers, and they have the money for it

By Pavel Alpeyev and Yoshinori Eki
BW Magazine

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Hikosaburo Yasuda of Nakano, Japan, plans to buy an iPad to keep up with junior members in his computer club. "It's important to always try new things, otherwise you get left behind," he says.

Yasuda is 95 years old. He and his peers, looking for easier ways to browse the Web and send e-mail, represent a potentially lucrative market for Apple (AAPL)'s iPad. The company has sold 3.27 million iPads since its launch in April, but doesn't break down sales figures by customer age, making it impossible to know with certainty how many seniors are buying them. Anecdotal evidence suggests it's a hit with the elderly. Marti Weston of Arlington, Va., bought her father one for his 87th birthday in May. "This 'book-sized' pad has become my news and entertainment source," her father, the Reverend Elmo Pascale, raved in a comment on Weston's blog.

The iPad's intuitive interface makes it appealing to senior citizens around the world, says Takahiro Miura, a researcher at the University of Tokyo: "The iPad is a good tool for the elderly because it's very forgiving of mistakes." Miura's team uses computers to help train senior citizens to rejoin the workforce. "Unlike the PC, it doesn't require prior knowledge," he says.

James Cordwell, a technology analyst at Atlantic Equities in London, says the iPad's popularity with the elderly is helping Apple reach beyond its traditional base of younger customers. "Demographically, the world, especially in developed markets, is getting older, and it's probably where Apple is least penetrated," Cordwell says. Elderly users are "a key source of growth for them in the future." These buyers could also give Apple an advantage over Research In Motion (RIMM). Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), LG Electronics, Google (GOOG), and other companies expected to roll out tablets.

The elderly in Japan, who make up an estimated 22 percent of the population, may prove particularly receptive to the iPad. They spend more than any other group in the country except for those under 30, according to a report by Japan's Cabinet Office. Motoo Kitamura, 78, a former gas salesman, bought an iPad to help him communicate with his 2-year-old grandson and stave off dementia. "Trying new things like that is a good mental exercise," he says.

Toshihiro Okada, a 79-year-old retired architect, runs Yasuda's computer club, where he's called The Saint because he often bikes to members' homes to troubleshoot technical problems. "Seniors these days have the trifecta of time, money, and curiosity," says Okada. "The iPad is never out of my hands."

The bottom line: Apple is making inroads with a new group of consumers, the elderly, thanks in part to the intuitive design of its iPad.

With Anna Mukai and Arik Hesseldahl
Comment by Carole Railton on July 25, 2010 at 21:20
One of my business contacts, Kate Burton has a site with a lovely sign
60 - 09

its how you see it that matters, you can turn most things around with help and creativity.
you can see it
Comment by Carole Railton on July 14, 2010 at 23:06
Hey Monica
Great to have you on board.
Great to hear about the love and respect and understanding of the 3rd age, as they need some additional help.
Lets get one or two others on this group to get things really rocking and we can then have a much bigger discussion and hopefully impact on how TTA is perceived and what they can achieve.
Look forward to chatting here with you again v soon.
Comment by Monica Hall on July 14, 2010 at 22:46
Hiya - I am here and ready to discuss! - I have alot of love and respect for my fellow citizens in the 3rd age they have learnt all the lessons so I think that they are ideally placed to help motivate those who may be facing a hard time as they may feel they have explored all avenues but as my mum always says a grey head is a wise head! she also says if you don't use it you'll lose it what better way to keep the 3rd age generation in good mental health - use their knowledge!
Comment by Carole Railton on July 14, 2010 at 8:47
How lovely that you have thought about your third age and some of the benefits that go with it. It would be really good of the majority of the population had similar thoughts and feelings when approaching their third age. Empowering others to achieve more and support the community at this time, is a way forward that would hve gains for everyone.
With more members (do you know others who would join this group), we can start a discussion about motivation and where it comes from for this third age group.
Comment by indraadnan on July 13, 2010 at 22:05
Guess you don't have to be 55 to join do you? I'm interested in looking forward to an old age where my - by then - well worn and well earned wisdom will be valued by society. Would also like to actively learn from the Greenham Common and Ban the Bomb generation: where did the motivation arise from and how was it sustained for so long?

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