Friday, 15 March 2013

Age UK free advice line



Dear Graham Jones,

Through your engagement with your constituents you and your staff will already be aware that many older people experience a complex interaction between living on a relatively low fixed income, declining health and mobility, and risk of social isolation. Their need for holistic information and advice (I&A) from services with experience and knowledge of their specific issues is essential as it allows them to access entitlements and services to maintain a decent quality of life and to continue to live independently.

Timely interventions can prevent increased pressure on health and social care services. This is especially important when people in later life and the services they rely on are experiencing unprecedented change and challenges. Unfortunately, many older people struggle to find the support they need as they navigate a complex system, often against a background of cuts to provision or changes in eligibility.

At a local level the Age UK network is the largest provider of high-quality I&A to older people and is here to help. Last year we reached some 7 million people with our resources and services. Our latest campaign report Who can I turn to? explains why I&A services tailored to the specific needs of older people are essential and why now is the time to prioritise, not cut back on, these essential services.

Our Free and really useful information and advice catalogue provides an overview of our information guides and factsheets specifically designed to provide advice and answer questions on issues affecting the over-50s around key life issues. The free booklets are packed with accurate and up-to-date information to help people get to grips with the challenges that later life can throw at them.

I do hope our report and catalogue of our free information guides are useful for you and your staff as we continue to work together to improve later life for all of us. Additional guides can be ordered via our free Advice line on 0800 169 6565. Please do not hesitate to contact my colleague Jen Pufky, on jen.pufky@ageuk.org.uk or 0203 033 1495, with any further questions.

Yours sincerely,
Michelle Mitchell
Charity Director General Age UK