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Could mum or dad be missing out on Pension Credit?

In her latest News Space blog, Age Space’s Annabel James looks at news about dementia, elderly care and more…

Pension Credit – many still missing out

Age UK is warning that it will be the most vulnerable older people – those struggling on a low fixed income and not in receipt of Pension Credit, as well as those older people battling loneliness, ill health and disabilities – who will be hit hardest if the decision to scrap free TV licences for all over 75s remains in place.

According to new Government figures Pension Credit take-up levels remain the same as last year – with two in five (39%) who are eligible missing out on the pensioner benefit aimed to top up low incomes.

People aged 75+ who are missing out on Pension Credit, will also miss out on a free TV licence from 1 June.  Despite so many eligible people missing out, if the BBC’s plan goes ahead, only those claiming Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence. Any older person who is worried about money and/or who may be entitled to claim benefits should contact Age UK by calling its national advice line free of charge on 0800 169 65 65.

We have a simple guide to other benefits here

Add your voice to State of Caring survey

If you are an unpaid carer, now is your chance to take part in the State of Caring Survey 2020 organised by Carers UK.

In the survey you’ll be asked what life is like now, and what needs to change.

This is the most extensive survey into carers’ experiences in the UK. As a result, it will take at least 20 – 30 minutes to complete – so grab a cuppa and get comfy! Take part here

It’s (really) good to talk

For older relatives who haven’t been feeling themselves lately, it can be difficult to open up about things. But there’s support available that could help. Talking is often the best way to start feeling better.

In this video from Age UK older people explain how talking treatments have helped them with issues such as anxiety and depression. More information Talking Treatments here

Making new friends

If all the current concern about self-isolation is focussing the mind on just how much or little social interaction an elderly relative has day to day, the Carers Trust has useful information on Befriending Schemes.

Befriending schemes offer companionship and support to you, or the person you care for. They can help reduce isolation and loneliness – and can be conducted by phone.

Gearing up for that conversation

We know… Driving in older age is such a tricky subject.

But DVLA medical requirements mean thousands of motorists may be driving on UK roads in a medically unsafe condition, according to experts at GEM Motoring Assist.

More than 100,000 motorists are aged 90 or above on the UK roads with more than 500 people still driving above the age of 100.

The group encourages those to drive for as long as they can but warned many could be forgetting to check key warning signs which may put them at risk of unsafe driving and possibly being fined or prosecuted if there’s a collision.

You may want to check out our info on how to tackle this, if you are at all concerned about whether mum or dad are still safe behind the wheel.

And finally…

It’s three cheers for Roo, the first active search dog to be specially trained to find people with dementia who are missing.

Roo, a labrador-springer spaniel, found a dementia patient who went missing from a care home in Berkshire.

The five-year-old and her owner Jo Armstrong, a volunteer with the Lowland Rescue service that is training the dogs, responded to the missing person’s scent that had been previously collected as a precaution.

The scheme, funded by People’s Postcode Lottery’s Dream Fund, supplies kits for relatives and care staff to take scent samples from the hands on a sterile gauze that can be stored in a jar for up to a year. Read more

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Coronavirus Support Group

In light of the current situation with Coronavirus we’ve created a group for people supporting elderly relatives at risk of Coronavirus.

A chance to virtually meet others in the same position, ask questions and share your experience in these strange and uncertain times.

It’s going to be a big team effort to get through this.