Age-friendly Communities across the UK and globally are playing a vital role in supporting, involving and giving voice to older people during COVID-19.
In these communities, residents, local groups, councils and businesses all work together to identify and make changes to ensure their place fosters the abilities of older people. Older residents are particularly involved in shaping the place that they live.
The UK Network of Age-friendly Communities is made up of cities, towns and counties working together to share learning at this time. Affiliated to the World Health Organisation Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities, the UK Network has members across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Below, we've curated content below using the structure of the eight domains of age-friendly:
Communication and information
Brighton & Hove: Isolation pack for the Over 70s
Alongside a new comprehensive Ageing Well services directory, which is updated three times a week and sent electronically to individuals and organisations, this isolation pack was produced and printed by Sussex Health and Care Partnership for delivery to older residents. It includes a comprehensive home hazards checklist, as well as wellbeing and nutrition information for over 70s isolating during COVID-19.
Greater Manchester: Wellbeing booklet with support and advice for older people isolating at home
The ‘Keeping Well at Home’ booklet was produced by Manchester University’s Healthy Ageing Research Group and the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub. The booklet contains health and dietary advice, a programme of strength and balance exercises and useful tips for keeping minds active and physical safety while isolating at home. A number of areas across the UK are currently adapting the booklet for use locally.
Later Life Audio and Radio Network
The Later Life radio network is a set of stations promoting the representation of older adults in audio & radio broadcasting and challenging ageist narratives. They have a range of COVID-19 related recordings listed on a Mixcloud site.
Community support and health services
Briefing: Alternatives to cash during COVID-19
This briefing, produced by Ambition for Ageing, explores the alternatives to cash for people who are shielding during COVID-19, with a particular focus on older people.
Respect and social inclusion
Open letter to the UK media about the language around and portrayal of older people in COVID-19 coverage
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority have co-created an open letter with Greater Manchester Older People’s Forum and the Centre for Ageing Better directed at the Society of Editors UK and the National Union of Journalists. The letter calls for UK media to be responsible in its language and portrayal of older people in coverage around COVID-19 and serves as reminder that ageism must be challenged at all levels of society.
Briefing: COVID-19 – Reducing social isolation and loneliness
This briefing shares insights and learning from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Ageing Better programme on the impact of and ways of reducing social isolation and loneliness in people aged over 50. It focuses on the specific challenges and solutions relevant during COVID-19.
Briefing: Experiences of LGBT communities during COVID-19
This briefing, produced by the LGBT Foundation in Manchester, highlights the experiences of LGBT communities during COVID-19. It includes information for healthcare professionals and links to national support options.
Campaign: Talking About My Generation
Talking About My Generation is a campaign that began to give people aged 50 and over in Greater Manchester an opportunity to change the narrative on ageing. Older people were trained as community reporters to share the experiences of people from their generation. The team has recently turned their attention to capturing stories of lockdown in special editions of their podcast and magazine.
Case study: How Leeds is utilising virtual coffee mornings during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours' Scheme CIO in Leeds have moved their services online during the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought challenges and opportunities in equal measure.
Case study: How Barnsley is using recycled tech to support its local care homes
An initiative from Barnsley council has seen refurbished laptops and tablets given to care homes in order to give them the support and help they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reworking the rural community bus during the COVID-19 pandemic
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, rural areas were already facing huge challenges connecting those within the community to each other, but the virus has forced places to radically adapt.
Moving around during the COVID-19 outbreak
This one-page guidance from the WHO covers using public transport and use of taxis at this time.
The World Health Organisation continues to develop and publish documents that provide guidance, recommendations and advice for health professionals and individuals during this time. This guide offers information to prevent and address social stigma associated with COVID-19.
International Federation on Ageing resource library
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) has launched a resource library in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the views of thought leaders in various associated fields, informing and driving policy discussion.