Guest blog: Lyndsey Burton, Choose.Net – How will the digital nature of Universal Credit affect older people?

Universal Credit (UC) is the government’s first “digital by default” benefit, with claimants expected to use the internet to apply, and then check on their payments. It combines six existing benefits: housing benefit, income support, employment support allowance, jobseekers allowance, working tax credit and child tax credit.
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Out of the limelight: older people left in the shadows of the data revolution

Since the censuses of ancient times, policy makers have relied on data. In what the UN is terming a data revolution, technological advancement now means that we have more information than ever at our fingertips. Bigger datasets covering more people and more topics have the potential to highlight the experiences of previously marginalised groups. Indeed, the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons has proposed that data be disaggregated ‘by gender, geography, income, disability and other categories to ensure that no-one is left behind’. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Ken Bluestone – Older people: the forgotten generation

The UN is on the cusp of the next stage of negotiations for the international development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) post-2015.


All eyes are looking to the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) to set a new standard for international cooperation with lofty ambitions of leaving no-one behind, a universal agenda that applies to all countries, environmental sustainability, accountability and creating a data revolution.
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The silent challenge: Overemployment facing the over 50s

New analysis suggests that a high proportion of older workers are locked into working long hours against their will, some of whom have long-term health problems

 This week we published a major new report into the employment challenges facing older workers in the UK with the support of PRIME and BITC: The Missing Million: illuminating the Employment Challenges of the Over 50s. While the report has gained publicity regarding the potential economic benefit of preventing early exit from the labour market, there is a critical challenge highlighted by the research that deserves more attention – overemployment.

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The Downsizing Double Dividend

Data released last week by the Office for National Statistics showed that the over 65s were almost 4 times less likely to move house than the rest of the population. Helping them to downsize could provide knock on benefits to all home owners.

A lack of movement among older people can be attributed to people’s desire to remain in their family homes. However, research shows it may also be due to a lack of suitable housing to move to. In 2013, Demos found that 58% of those over 60 were interested in moving house and that of these, over half (57%) wanted to downsize. Furthermore, a YouGov poll for the housing charity Shelter found that 39% of those over 65 were interested in moving to retirement housing. Continue reading

There are some things money can’t buy…

On the UN’s International Day of Older Persons, the latest Global Age Watch Index underlines international variation in experiences of old age.

Today, Help Age International publish the latest edition of their Global Age Watch Index. For 96 countries, and 91% of the world’s population over 60, the index captures the standard of living of older people. The index combines 13 indicators, incorporating income security, health status, education and employment, and whether a country provides an enabling environment for older people. Continue reading