Areas where pensioners most likely to be lonely identified

Elderly lady lonely Marlindeshutterstock_249281500-1

Photo: Marlinde ┃Shutterstock.com

The loneliest pensioners in London are likely to be living in a neighbourhood of Newham along the A1020 Royal Docks Road, between City Airport and the River Roding, where it runs into the Thames.

This finding emerges from data modelling by the charity Age UK in its effort to identify areas where there is a high likelihood of loneliness for over 65s, based upon a number of social and personal factors.

The area is known as MSOA Newham 033. An MSOA is an area with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 used for statistical analysis by the Government. Newham 033 is home to the Galleons Reach Shopping Park but also boasts the Beckton Sewage Treatment works among its charms.

It has 7,680 residents, according to the most recent population estimates, and around 5% of them are over 65. This includes 104 between 65-69, 160 in their 70s, 77 in their 80s and 21 who are over 90.

The charity used data from the census and a survey of the elderly to look at factors such as whether a person was widowed, living alone, or in poor health; all things that may result in them being more isolated. It used these factors to build an index.

When the index is applied a little more widely, at a borough level, Newham still scores poorly but Tower Hamlets and Hackney both come out worst. In the map below the areas with the darker colours and higher numbers indicate the higher probability of  loneliness, according to Age UK estimates.

Lonely pensioners-2

Boroughs in the East of the capital have the poorest scores while areas in south London are less likely to have lonely pensioners, according to the index.

5 London boroughs, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Barking and Dagenham and Islington, are among the 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest prevalence of loneliness, according to the Age UK calculation.

The charity says that more than a million older people across the country say that they go for a month without speaking to family, friends or neighbours. They are calling for Government help and for communities, families and individuals to do more to tackle the issue.

Source data

See also

98,000 not claiming their pension in a tale of two Londons

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

 

Flu blamed for winter deaths hitting 15-year high

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Photo: Alexander Raths ┃Shutterstock.com

There were 4,000 excess winter deaths in London in 2014/15, the highest rate for 15 years. And much the blame is being placed on the failure of the flu vaccine to protect the vulnerable from a particularly nasty strain of the virus.

Death rates in winter are higher than in summer months, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable. The numbers are measured according to an index called the Excess Winter Mortality. This calculates the rate of deaths above the average for non-winter months.

The winter 2014/15 was the worse since 1999/2000 when there were 5,870 excess deaths recorded. Although the figures are bad for last winter, London fared better than most other regions of England and Wales. The rate of excess deaths in London was 26.3%. Only the Wales, the West Midland and Yorkshire and Humberside recorded lower rates.

Winter Death index regions

Looking at the detailed figures according to age ranges show that while London had lower rates of death for people below pensionable age and those 75-84 it had rates slightly higher than England and Wales for the 64-75 age group and fractionally higher in the over 85s.

winter deaths london ages

National figures show that women were more vulnerable than men in all the age categories above 65. Men had a higher rate in the 0-64 group.

The impact of the flu is apparent in the cause of death data. According to the Office for National Statistics the proportion of people dying of respiratory diseases was 78% above the average for non-winter months. In the over 85s it was nearly twice the rate.

Doctors are hoping that the apparent failure of the flu vaccine to protect people last winter does not push down immunisation rates this winter, as reported by Urbs.

Source data

See also

Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab

98,000 not claiming their pension in a tale of two Londons

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK

98,000 not claiming their pension in a tale of two Londons

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Photo: Lasse Kristensen ┃Shutterstock.com

The number of elderly people who do not claim their state pension has risen to nearly 98,000. That is 9% of those eligible, and it has increased since the end of last year.

The proportion of eligible OAPs claiming the pension fell across the country from 99% in November 2014 to 97% in May 2015. And these latest figures show that in London it is now down to just 91% from 93% in the same period.

This highest level of non-claimants is in the traditionally wealthy central boroughs, which may suggest that they feel that they have sufficient money so do not need the state pension.

Data from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that in the Kensington and Chelsea and in Westminster fewer than three quarters of eligible over 65s are receiving their state pension. The claim rate is below 80% in two other areas, Camden and the City of London.

Pension recipients

But the rate of pension recipients has fallen across the capital. The only boroughs with the same proportion as the national rate are the outer areas of Havering, Bexley and Bromley.

Pensions data underlines a tale of two Londons. The city may have the highest level of pensioners not claiming their entitlement, but it also has the highest rate in Great Britain of pensioners who are getting additional support through pension credits.

Pension credits are paid to those who have very low income, and as a reward to those who have modest savings or a small private pension to supplement their state income.

The latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that 14% of over 60s across Britain receive a credit. That’s down 1% on last November. The rate has fallen by a similar proportion in London as well, but it is still at nearly 19%. The North East is the closest to London, but rates are significantly lower in all other regions.

The highest rate of pension credit claimants is in Tower Hamlets where 38.5% of over 60s are getting this support. Yet Tower Hamlets has the fifth lowest rate of pension recipients in the capital with 14% not claiming. This perhaps demonstrates the gap between rich and poor in the borough that contains both deprived areas and the wealth of Canary Wharf.

Pension credit claimants

Other boroughs with high rates of pension credit claims are Hackney with 35% and Newham with 33%. Only Richmond and the City of London have lower than 10%.

Pension recipient data

Pension credit data

See also

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

More than half a million Londoners have never used the internet

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK

Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab

doctor reads chartIt’s flu vaccine season, and although a jab is no guarantee of protection, doctors urge the most vulnerable to have it done.

That call is taken up enthusiastically by the elderly in East of the city with vaccination rates over 75% in Newham and Tower Hamlets.  But in the more affluent West London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea the proportion of over 65s having it done is far lower, down to a little over 60%.

Flu jab map-2

The vaccine is given free to the over 65s and historically about 70% of elderly Londoners have heeded the health advice. But last year the proportion dropped slightly in the capital while it has remained consistent across England.

Flu vaccination is also given free of charge to pregnant women and children aged between 2 and 6.

The problem with providing an effective vaccine is that influenza is constantly mutating. Last year the vaccine offered little protection against the main strain of the disease that spread through the UK. Doctors are hoping that that failure will not push down rates of immunization this winter.

Source data

See also

Sexual infection map shows problems for Lambeth and Southwark

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Nearly 9,500 deaths a year – study reveals impact of air pollution

Elderly show wealth divide – 75,000 not claiming pension, more rely on benefits

pensioner coupleNearly 75,000 elderly people in London are not claiming their state pension. That’s 7% of the people eligible and a unique London phenomenon as claimant rates elsewhere are 99 or 100% and only in the South East of England does it fall below that, to 98%.

The majority of non-claimants are in traditionally wealthy boroughs, which may suggest that they feel no need of the benefit or that an itinerant lifestyle means it is difficult for them to claim it.

Data from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that in the Kensington and Chelsea only three quarters of eligible over 65s are receiving their pension, in Westminster it is 77%, in Camden 80% and in the City of London 81%. Through most of central London the proportion is a little over 90%. Only the outer boroughs of Havering and Bromley have the national rate of 99%.

Pensioners recipients

While London has the highest level of pensioners who don’t receive a state pension, it also has the highest proportion in the country of pensioners receiving a pension credit.

Pension credits are paid to those who have very low income, and as a reward to those who have modest savings or a small private pension to supplement their state income. 15% of OAPs across the UK receive a credit. In London it is nearly 20%.


See also

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Welcome to the city of the super rich


The breakdown by borough underlines the divide between rich and poor across the capital, and some of the variation within boroughs. As the map above shows, Tower Hamlets has 9% of its pensioner not claiming a pension. But as the map below shows, it also has 40% on pension credits.

Pensioners credit

The borough includes some deprived areas but also the sparkling skyscrapers and riverside flats of Canary Wharf. In the neighbouring boroughs of Hackney and Newham 35% or more are receiving pension credit. In Richmond and the City of London it is under 10%.

Pension recipient data

Pension credit data

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Feeding the birds in St James' Park: © Vicki Vale | Dreamstime.com

Feeding birds in St James’ Park: © Vicki Vale | Dreamstime.com

London has a smaller proportion of over 65s than the rest of the UK. The high level of people at working age, and fractionally more children, mean that only 11.4% of the people in London are pensioners. In comparison, 17.9% of the UK population is over 65.

Over 65 graph

The low propotion of elderly people is even more marked in some central and eastern boroughs. Just 6% of the people in Tower Hamlets are over 65. As reported by Urbs, Tower Hamlets has the youngest population in London. The boroughs of Newham and Hackney are not far behind in their balance of young over old.

over 65 map

With the exception of the City of London, a higher proportion of older Londoners are found in the outer boroughs. Bexley and Bromley are both in line with the national average. Only Havering has a higher proportion.

Source data

See also

Go east young man – it’s where young London lives