I joined Independent Age in April of this year and was immediately impressed by the range of free services the charity offers to over-65s, throughout the UK.
We support thousands of older people through the ‘ABC’ of advice, befriending and campaigning. As the new Information Manager, the ‘A’ is my bread and butter.
My job is to maintain and develop our public information, which includes the unique Wise Guide series. These are jargon-free practical handbooks for older people, full of tips and useful contact details. There are currently four Wise Guides in the series: Advice for later life, Extra help at home, Healthy, happy and connected, and Choosing a care home.
We have had great feedback on these handbooks, which we provide free of charge to both individuals and organisations. I am keen to work closely with other organisations that come in to contact with older people, so that we can reach more people with these fantastic resources. If you think you could help (or want to see some sample copies), please email me (email@example.com), or call me on 020 7605 4294.
So what else do we do under the ‘A’ for advice?
Every year, our expert advice team receives thousands of calls from older people and their families. They deal with queries about how to get and pay for the care you need, how to question decisions made by a local authority or the NHS, benefits entitlements, and ways to maintain independence. The advisers tailor their advice to the individual, and adhere to the strict standards required by the Advice Quality Standard.
It is the issues that come up time and again on the advice line which have informed our other public information products – the guides and factsheets available on our website. These cover particular issues (such as paying care home fees) in detail, and aim to support people when they are about to make difficult decisions about their own care, or the care of a loved one.
Our advice team also signpost people to our popular telephone and face-to-face befriending services, and TalkTime phone clubs. We have partnerships with several organisations to enable them to take advantage of these services with their members. Again if this would be of interest to you, please get in touch!
You can find out more about all of our services at www.independentage.org.
Previous members of the month
- August 2014: Lilian Anekwe, Consumer Health Editor, BMJ
- July 2014: Will Jones, Development Director, brainstrust
- May 2014: Clare Jacklin, Director of External Affairs, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)
- January 2014: Kian-Garin de Loach, Creative Lead, Diabetes UK
- December 2013: Jennifer Dickson, Information Services Manager, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
- November 2013: Eleanor Stanley, health & social Issues writer
- October 2013: Karen O’Rourke, Pateint Information Centre Co-ordinator, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
- September 2013. Wayne Middleton, Project Development Manager, Luto
- July/August 2013 Saj Shah, Cancer Content Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support
- June 2013. Ted Davenport, Business Development Manager, RNS Publications
- May 2013, Donna Athanasopoulos, PHRU Information & Publications Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
- April 2013. Amber Hammill, Head of Information, MS Society
- March 2013. Hilary Belshaw, Henhouse Productions
- February 2013. Andre Tomlin, Managing Director, Minervation
- December 2012, Rebecca Canvin, Executive Editor, Health Information Team, Bupa
- November 2012,Sarah Thompson, Clinical Librarian, NHS Direct
- October 2012, Louisa Desborough, Director, Freshwater Health and Social Care
- September 2012, Lesley McShane, Library, Information & Knowledge Services Specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- August 2012, Greta Hughson, Sub-editor, NAM / aidsmap.com
- July 2012, Colin MacKenzie, Contract Director at The Information Standard
- June 2012, Ria Bowler, Project Manager, British Heart Foundation (BHF)