I feel very lucky that, on a daily basis, my role at Independent Age allows me to interact with people who are in their later life. I speak to campaigners, supporters and people who use our services from across the country, and from all walks of life. Their honesty and openness is always an inspiration as they share with us both the positive experiences they have and the challenges they face.
It’s clear that COVID-19 has impacted everyone across the world, and it’s been an anxious time for many as we contend with confusion around what people need to do, and new rules and regulations which we all need to abide by to protect ourselves, those we care about and the key workers we all rely on.
On a personal level, the things I’m finding most difficult are having my news feeds dominated by the dreadful realities people are facing, not being able to leave the house more than once a day, and not knowing when I’ll see my friends and family again in the flesh. Despite this, I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t have the added worry of living with long-term conditions, of caring for a family member, or of finding it difficult to go to the shops to get the food I need.
But, in these difficult, and sometimes dark times, I’ve been completely inspired by the way people across different generations are handling their present reality. Whether that’s by taking part in creative activities, learning new skills, or speaking up and influencing the debate around some of the grave challenges people are facing.
At Independent Age we are amplifying these stories through our #HomeTruths series so that more people have the chance to hear about these experience and learn from them. We will also ensure that the issues and problems raised are heard by the relevant decision-makers, including Government departments and the NHS, so that people in later life can be supported through this crisis.
If you’d like to help us ensure that decision-makers take notice of the issues that affect people as they grow older, you can join our online campaign network.
I hope you enjoy hearing what these amazing people have to say as much I do!