OLDER people in the North West
are being robbed of the chance to play an active part in society
because they can’t access new skills through adult education
according to leading older people’s charity Help the Aged. New
research shows that 7 out of 10 North West older people are put off
attending adult education courses because of the threat of crime
when they go out, while 4 out of 10 people aged 65 and over in the
North West struggle due to lack of transport or high course fees.
More than half of North West older people think there is inadequate
information about available courses.
A new Help the Aged report, Learning for Living: Helping to prevent
social exclusion among older people, warns that unless older people
are able to further their skills and learn new ones, there is a
danger that they will become more and more excluded from society.
With more than 1/3rd of older people saying they feel out of touch
with modern life, the Charity is calling for all Government
departments to recognise that older people need skills to play an
active role in society and ensure these are made available to them.
Amy Swan, Policy Officer for Help the Aged, says:- “Education
and learning new skills are incredibly important for people of all
ages, but all too often older people are left behind. Barriers such
as lack of transport, fear of crime or high course fees make it very
difficult for older people to access courses that will help them
keep up to date with changes in modern life.”
The Help the Aged research also shows that:-
* 72% of older people in the North West want adult education
courses to cover how to stay healthy and active as you get older;
* 55% of people aged 65 and over in the
North West are interested in understanding new technology including
the internet and digital television;
* 58% of older people in the North West
want courses giving financial advice and tips on managing money;
* 42% of North West older people are
interested in learning about how the social care system works.
Amy Swan continues:- “It’s not surprising that older people
want to learn how to manage their finances, keep up with
advancements in technology and how to stay fit and healthy as they
get older – these are all skills that will help prevent them being
brushed aside by society. Social exclusion affects a huge
number of older people, leaving them feeling not only unneeded but
unwanted. But with a bit of political will and better communication
across government departments, it is possible to prevent older
people becoming isolated by ensuring they can access the skills they
need to keep up with modern life.”
Help the Aged is calling for:-
* The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) to
put pressure on other government departments to recognise the skills
older people need to prevent isolation and exclusion, for example
financial literacy, ICT skills and health management;
* Public authorities to consider the impact of any proposed policy
changes on older people - identifying if there is a need for skills
and providing budget where necessary;
* DIUS to invest in an effective adult
learning infrastructure; provide fully funded learning officers in
every locality; a learning portal for information; and learning
vouchers to support groups wanting to organise their own learning.
The Help the Aged Learning for Life campaign encouraged older
people to respond to the recent Informal Adult Learning
consultation. Nearly 650 responses collated by the Charity were
presented to Culture Minister David Lammy in June.
For a copy of Learning for Living:- Helping to prevent social
exclusion among older people, please go
NORTH WEST WOMEN STILL NAUGHTY AT 40!
research from Canderel reveals a new breed of sexy, independent and
blissful 40+ year old women in the UK, breaking the norm and
embracing the lives of 20somethings. Dubbed ‘Generation-H’,
(Generation Happy) a staggering 85% would not cut costs on cosmetic
surgery, despite the current economy.
Canderel commissioned The Future Laboratory to conduct a
state-of-the-nation, with a focus on the NW, challenging the
thoughts and revealing the lives of women in their 40’s and 50’s. The staggering results defy traditional views of this generation and
show that up-for-it ladies of this age are as likely to be dancing
till dawn like 20somethings as attending the regular coffee morning
in the UK. This challenges the traditional views of women in
this age group, as a sense of duty towards family and friends has
changed from all-consuming compared to 42% now. Girl power reigns in
the SW, with a giant 61% of SW ladies feel they are in control of
their own lives.
Socialising:- Not satisfied with staying in and making sure the household chores
are complete, 71% will be found in the local wine bar with friends. 49% of those who are single are mirroring the Sex and the City
lifestyle, of actress Kim Cattrall (52) and using speed dating to
meet potential partners.
While looking after home is a given, even for busy professionals
over half of ‘Generation-H’ is likely to be found gossiping
on the internet and found embracing new ways to have fun with a vigor more akin to their daughters social habits. These
mummies’ are see in Generation-H, like Sarah Ferguson, Duchess
of York (49) and Kate Middleton’s mother are likely to be hitting
the dance-floors with their daughters.
Finance:- Despite being the most concerned region in the UK of the negative
state of the economy, women in the SW are still the least likely to
give up the latest ‘must-have’ Feni bag, with 30%, not
willing to give up their fashion habits.
Health and fitness:- Following in the footsteps of celebrities such as Madonna (50) and
Sharon Stone (50) ‘Generation-H’ are health addicts – 21% of
NW gym bunnies would give up their membership cards before fashion
Life is delicious if cooking from scratch, with over half preferring
to prepare food this way. 2/3rds deem themselves as health conscious
in the UK, 15% never buy food without checking the calorie content
and 1 in 4 seek out local produce. Healthy experiences are accented
with pleasurable experiences – an overwhelming 85% indulge in sweet
things. Compelling statistics reveal they believe (46%)
women should not conform to set life-stages and over 40% feel they
should have more time to themselves – underlining their independent
and free-spirited attitude.
Tom Savigar, Strategy and Insight Director from the Future
Laboratory comments:- “Generation-H are a breed of women that
are breaking the norm, focusing more on themselves than ever before. They aren’t afraid to get out, experiment and do what is necessary
to look after themselves, especially their health.”
A spokesperson for Canderel comments:- “Generation-H has an
ability to look on the bright side, they are taking control of their
lives and embracing what life throws at them. The findings challenge
the preconceived attitudes of society towards women in their 40s and
50s as being safe and set in their ways. As Canderel celebrates its
25th anniversary, it’s poignant that a new generation of women have
been defined as independent, comfortable in their own skin and above
all know what they want and how to get it!"