Archive - Europe RSS Feed

A call for carers to stay at work

An estimated 60,000 grandparents – 9,000 per year or 25 every day – have dropped out of the UK labour market to bring up their grandchildren only to face a lack of recognition and support from Government, according to a new report by charity Grandparents Plus. As a result, these grandparents often end up in poverty.

Shared a 57-year-old grandmother who is raising her grandson and who is now unemployed and looking for work: “I was a manager at the time and had to be in the office Monday to Friday. I felt my job was threatened if I was to take time off and that things would be made difficult for me. So I had no choice other than to resign which I really did not want to do but my grandson’s needs were more important. I am struggling financially now because of it.”

The study, “Giving Up the Day Job?”, showed how almost half (47 percent) of grandparents and other family member (such as older siblings, aunts, uncles and other relatives and also termed as kinship) carers who were previously working had to give up their jobs to care for children, many of whom have emotional difficulties and would be in local authority care had their relative not stepped in. The carers have to rely on benefits as most do not receive any allowances from their local authority.

Continue Reading…

Away from misery island

Professor Dr Hans Becker, CEO of Humanitas Foundation in the Netherlands, shares that away from misery island is the way to go. He is a driving force behind the concept of ‘Apartments for Life’, Agelessvoice finds out more about this concept from him:

Can you share the ‘Apartments for Life’ concept?

Fifteen years ago, the Dutch older people started demanding an alternative to old-style nursing homes and hostels. They wanted to be able to go on living independently and stay in their own communities for as long as they could even if their health declined and they could no longer get around.

‘Apartments for Life’ is a response to this challenge, pioneered by the Humanitas Foundation in Rotterdam in the mid-1990s. It began with 350 apartments in three complexes in 1995 and has really taken off.

So how does it work?

Human happiness – that is the business we are in – is not about ‘cure and care’. There is not much to cure when someone has Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, or even arthritis in the knees. The care elements have to be there, but they should be in the background. The ‘Apartments for Life’ philosophy has four basic values:

  • Boss of your own life.
  • Use it or lose it.
  • Extended family approach.
  • A yes culture.

The Humanitas approach is that residents should be the boss of their own life, with their own front door so they are truly a resident, not just ‘staying’ in a room that belongs to an institution. The Humanitas model for ‘Apartments for Life’ includes carefully designed apartment complexes, lived in and partly run by independent older people, and offering services on a needs basis. These include medical, daily care, recreational, educational and social, up to and including nursing home-type care.

The apartments (minimum 72 sqm, three rooms – the social norm for building requirements in the Netherlands), may be purchased, or rented. The apartments are designed in such a way that – even with a wheelchair – the sink (variable height sinks), the electricity cupboard, and the letterbox, are within reach, and barriers such as thresholds, narrow doorways, awkwardly opening French doors, etc, are avoided. Living arrangements, as a total living concept, is not the only contributing factor to an individual’s happiness, a sense of “belonging” is also crucial and through our approach, we have achieved this.

Continue Reading…

New ways of segmenting the older market

This is a podcast of a presentation given by Dick Stroud at the Investing in the Ageing Boom (the age of reason) conference in October where he spoke about the importance of understanding the physiological and psychological aspects of ageing, 10 ways of segmenting the market – the right option for your organisation and using your segmentation strategy to drive all aspects of marketing. Stroud is the founder of 20plus30, a marketing strategy consultancy specialising in the 50-plus market. He is the UK’s leading expert on using interactive channels to communicate with the over-50s market. He is the author of “The 50-Plus Market” and he has a blog.

Page 4 of 4«1234