Gateshead Older People's Assembly works to improve the quality of life for all people over 50 who live in Gateshead. The Assembly supports many borough-wide social and activity groups from its base in Deckham.
The Assembly's base is a welcoming, barrier-free wellness hub for all of Gateshead's over-50s, providing opportunities to socialise, learn, and exercise which are aligned with the NEF Five Steps to Wellbeing and are designed to support older people in Gateshead in maintaining their physical, mental, and emotional health.
There are three main issues affecting people aged over 50 in Gateshead. These are:
- Loneliness and social isolation -- Approximately 10% of the older population self-identifies as being lonely at any given time (TNS survey for AgeUK, 2014), which equates to nearly 8,000 older people in Gateshead. Additionally, Gateshead's rate of older people living alone is 14.6% higher than the national average and is the third-highest in the Northeast (Gateshead Strategic Joint Needs Assessment 2010 Data, Annex 1).
- Falls -- Of the 12 boroughs in Northeast England, Gateshead has the second-highest rate of falls among older people and our falls rate is growing by approximately 2% each year (Gateshead Falls Prevention Strategy and Action Plan, 2013). Statistics show that 30% of older people who suffer a hip fracture will die within 12 months (Hospital Episode Statistics, HSCIC 2010/11-14/15) and the average cost of a fractured femur is over £30,000. Additionally, those who have suffered a fall or fear suffering a fall often find themselves at higher risk of becoming isolated due to a lack of ability or confidence.
- Malnutrition -- Gateshead's ageing population paired with its high levels of social deprivation made it an ideal pilot area for the Malnutrition Taskforce's malnutrition prevention programme. The Taskforce found that 37% of older people admitted to hospital in Gateshead in 2014/15 were deemed to be malnourished. Further, there are approximately 5,000 older people at risk of malnutrition in our borough.
Take a look at our current programme of activities and how it holistically supports the needs of Gateshead's older people: