Five fantastic things for older Londoners
Older Londoners are the fastest-growing group in the capital. But they also face huge barriers, whether it’s getting online, keeping active, or navigating city streets safely. Here are five of the top things the Mayor is doing to make London a great place to grow old:
1. Freedom to roam
A lifeline for more than a million Londoners, the Freedom Pass and the 60+ London Oyster photocard gives over-60s free travel on the Tube, buses and trains – older people regularly tell us it’s the thing that improves their lives the most. The Mayor has vowed to protect the Freedom Pass, which is funded by councils, despite calls to scrap it.
2. Armchair Olympics
Older people often find it hard to keep active, meaning they miss out on the social and health benefits of exercise. The Get Moving programme has helped hundreds of older Londoners take part in free weekly physical activity sessions, from chair-based exercises known as the ‘Armchair Olympics’, to dance, tai chi, yoga and gardening.
3. Silver surfing
Being locked out of the internet lowers quality of life for many older people, one of the groups that finds it hardest to get online. Through the Mayor’s Mi-Wifi project, London libraries lend out tablets to older people and train them on how to get the most from the internet and socialise safely online.
4. Age-friendly streets
As London’s population ages, our city’s environment will have to adapt. The Mayor’s draft London Plan will ensure new developments meet world-leading standards of inclusive design, that more public toilets are created and streets are welcoming to all.
5. Older volunteers
Retirement is a huge lifestyle change, but volunteering can ease the transition. The Mayor is funding 12 volunteering programmes for older Londoners, including a project run by the charity Opening Doors that sends volunteers to befriend older LGBT people experiencing social isolation.